An FBI translator sent to Syria to investigate a German rapper turned Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist ended up marrying him before fleeing back to America, a CNN investigation has revealed.
Daniela Greene, a fluent German speaker, was sent to Syria to investigate German citizen Denis Cuspert, who formally had a career as a rapper named Deso Dogg before deciding to join ISIS.
Under the new name Abu Talha al-Almani, Cuspert became a prominent online recruiter for the caliphate and could even be seen in an ISIS propaganda video holding a decapitated human head.
However, within months of arriving in Syria, Greene had married Cuspert and warned him that he was under an FBI investigation.
Court filings later showed Greene’s regret at the decision. In an email sent to her by an unknown recipient, Greene was quoted as saying she “had really made a mess of things this time,” before she fled back to America.
A week after her return, Greene was arrested by authorities on charges of false statements involving international terrorism and cooperation with the enemy.
She later pled guilty to the charges, with assistant U.S. attorney Thomas Gillice describing her cooperation with ISIS as “significant, long-running and substantial.” She was sentenced to two years in jail.
Court filings released last year, when the case was finally made public, determined that she had “violated the public trust, the trust of the officials who granted her security clearance, and the trust of those with whom she worked and, in doing so, endangered our nation’s security.” The fact she escaped unharmed represented “a stroke of luck or a measure of the lack of savvy on the part of the terrorists with whom she interacted.”
During the case, Greene’s defense argued that she had “attempted to right her wrongs, and to ultimately assist her country again.” Her sentence of 2 years was comparatively lenient compared to most ISIS-related cases, as the average sentence is 13.5 years.
Greene is now working in hotel reception and refused to comment further on the case. Her lawyer, Shawn Moore, said that his client was “just a well-meaning person that got up in something way over her head.”