Kansas woman who led all-female Isis brigade pleads guilty to federal terrorism charges

Experts say Allison Fluke-Ekren is the first American woman to be prosecuted for having a role with Isis

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 08 June 2022 05:33 BST
<p>Federal prosecutors described Allison Fluke-Ekren as ‘a fervent believer in the radical terrorist ideology of Isis for many years’ </p>

Federal prosecutors described Allison Fluke-Ekren as ‘a fervent believer in the radical terrorist ideology of Isis for many years’

A Kansas woman has pleaded guilty to leading an all-female Isis battalion in Syria and training young women to fight with guns, grenades and suicide devices.

Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, admitted in US federal court in Alexandria, Virginia that she was the leader of the Khatiba Nusaybah in Raqqa and now faces up to 20 years in prison.

She pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to provide material support for terrorism and experts said she is the first American woman to be prosecuted for having a role with Isis, according to The Washington Post.

Court papers stated that after university in the US, she moved with her second husband and children to Egypt in 2008 and helped terrorist groups in Iraq, Libya and Syria for more than six years.

“Over 100 women and young girls received military training from Fluke-Ekren in Syria on behalf of ISIS,” federal prosecutors wrote in court filings.

They described her as “a fervent believer in the radical terrorist ideology of Isis for many years”.

Fluke-Ekren said at Tuesday’s hearing that she was not aware that some of the girls she trained were underage and claimed, “We didn’t intentionally train any young girls.”

In her plea agreement with the Department of Justice, she said she helped her husband analyse US documents stolen by terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia in a 2012 attack on a US government facility in Benghazi, Libya.

She also admits having discussed plans for terrorist attacks in the US, including using a van full of explosives in a parking lot under a shopping mall. A witness said she stated any attack that did not kill a large number of victims was a waste of resources.

Fluke-Ekren, who broke down during the hearing at the mention of her children, was arrested in Syria and taken into custody in the US in January.

She will be sentenced on 25 October.

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