A woman in Wisconsin was charged on Wednesday with hacking Facebook accounts on behalf of the Islamic State (ISIS).
The woman is accused of attempting to recruit and educate people on the basics of terrorism and using explosive materials.
According to a federal criminal complaint, Waheba Issa Dais is currently held in federal custody on charges of “material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.”
Dais, an Israeli national who has lived in the United States since 1992, appeared at a federal magistrates court on Wednesday and will return on Friday for a judge to determine her bail.
The complaint details how the 45-year-old mother of two allegedly hacked a number of social media accounts using fake names and photos aimed at promoting ISIS and teaching people how to use explosives and suicide belts. She also allegedly gave details on how to plant ricin, a poisonous chemical, into the country’s water reservoirs.
The FBI affidavit alleges that Dais “helped facilitate planning for attacks in the United States on behalf of ISIS and overseas by providing instructions on how to make explosives, biological weapons and suicide vests,” and she also “provided detailed instructions to people interested in attacks and attack planning. Dais has also expressed a personal desire to travel overseas in support of ISIS.”
Security agencies were alerted to Dais’s alleged activity in January when Facebook told the FBI of a “Wisconsin-based user posting detailed instructions on how to make explosive vest bombs in support of ISIS,” who “also appeared to be engaged in detailed question and answer sessions discussing substances used to make bombs.”
Dais’s case is the first person charged with violent terrorist activity in six months, although she follows multiple cases of terrorism charges to emerge from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In January 2016, Samy Hamzeh was arrested and charged with planning to kill 30 people at a Masonic center in Milwaukee in an attempt to “defend Islam.” His trial is set for August.
Last October, Jason Michael Ludke and Yosvany Padilla-Conde were also charged with planning to join ISIS after talking to an FBI plant, declaring their allegiance to the organization. They will return to court this month.
“The Department of Justice’s top priority is to prevent terrorism and ensure national security,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger said in response to the charges.