An American woman, formerly of Kansas, is accused of leading an all-female ISIS battalion in Syria and plotting a “potential future attack” at a U.S. college campus, according to the Justice Department.
U.S. citizen Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, was previously apprehended in Syria and turned over to FBI custody on Friday, a Saturday release from the Justice Department states. Fluke-Ekren, who goes by many different aliases, is charged with “providing and conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization,” and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The release cites a recently unsealed criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2019, alleging that since Fluke-Ekren left the states for Syria, she partook in numerous terrorism-related activities dating back to at least 2014.
The release states:
These activities allegedly include, but are not limited to, planning and recruiting operatives for a potential future attack on a college campus inside the United States and serving as the appointed leader and organizer of an ISIS military battalion, known as the Khatiba Nusaybah, in order to train women on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and suicide belts. Additionally, Fluke-Ekren allegedly provided ISIS and ISIS members with services, which included providing lodging, translating speeches made by ISIS leaders, training children on the use of AK-47 assault rifles and suicide belts and teaching extremist ISIS doctrine.
The complaint includes accounts from six eye-witnesses who say they observed Fluke-Ekren’s terrorist behavior “from at least 2014 through approximately 2017.”
She allegedly told one witness she longed to carry out an attack in the United States. The release states:
To conduct the attack, Fluke-Ekren allegedly explained that she could go to a shopping mall in the United States, park a vehicle full of explosives in the basement or parking garage level of the structure, and detonate the explosives in the vehicle with a cell phone triggering device.
She allegedly regarded attacks “that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources,” according to the Justice Department. Moreover, the same witness alleged that when attacks were carried out in other countries, she would express how she wished that were conducted in the United States instead.
Fluke-Ekren’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.