A former Kansas teacher who led an all-female Islamic State army battalion and plotted American terror attacks has been arrested in Syria, Federal prosecutors said as they unsealed the criminal case late Friday.
Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, who was charged in May 2019 with providing and conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, a designated terrorist organization, was eventually sent to the Eastern District of Virginia. on Friday night after her arrest in Syria.
The alliances say Fluke-Ekren left the US in 2008 for Egypt and emigrated to Libya and then Syria around 2012 with her husband, an IS sniper trainer. A witness is said to have told investigators.
Fluke-Ekren and her husband allegedly brought $15,000 into Syria to buy weapons, grenades and other military supplies. Prosecutors say she has been involved in a range of activities on behalf of ISIS since 2014.
ONE blog called “4 Kansas Kids” created to “share the adventures of the Fluke-Ekren family” appeared to show photos of Fluke-Ekren and her children, smiling in front of the Egyptian pyramids and playing in the snow in the rural Midwest circa 2010.
The Lawrence Journal-World also published a paper in 2004 on homeschooling trends, in which Fluke-Ekren is quoted explaining her dissatisfaction with public schooling. She says that learning Arabic at home allows her to teach Arabic to her children.
But criminal complaint includes observations from six people who witnessed Fluke-Ekren’s operations in Syria between 2014 and 2017, alleging that she played a role in the planning and recruitment of special agents for a potential attack on American university campuses. The lawsuit said the plot was never carried out because she was pregnant.
A witness told how Fluke-Ekren presented the plan to attack the university and said the idea came from a desire to seek “revenge” after children were killed when a market in Syria was bombed. by air strikes that she blames on the United States.
Fluke-Ekren also led and organized an IS military battalion called the Nusaybah Battalion, and she trained women and children in the use of AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, and belts. committed suicide, the criminal complaint said.
Prosecutors allege that she provided accommodation for ISIS recruits, taught extremist doctrines to children, and translated speeches from Turkish and Arabic to disseminate online to agents. leader of ISIS.
One witness told FBI agents that on one occasion they saw one of Fluke-Ekren’s sons, who she said was about 5 or 6 years old, holding a machine gun during a visit to her home. , where there are usually rifles around.
A Fluke-Ekren’s family member also described her as a “jihadist” and “ISIS member,” allegedly telling investigators she “didn’t like America or Americans.” According to family members, she once talked about going to a shopping center in the US and blowing up a car packed with explosives in a parking garage, although she was said not to follow through because of her husband’s objections.
According to the complaint, family members say that, despite her husband’s protests, Fluke-Ekren “admits that she fantasizes about conducting other attacks,” and “considers any assaults.” Which does not kill a large number of individuals is a waste. resources. ”
After her sniper instructor husband died in an airstrike, prosecutors say Fluke-Ekren moved to ISIS headquarters in Raqqa in 2012 and married a drone expert who also died. about 5 years later. She later married a military leader who oversaw the defense of Raqqa.
In 2017, a witness linked to the Nusaybah Battalion while living in Raqqa told investigators the group was “an all-female ISIS military unit” whose goal was “to train ISIS women.” fight”.
The group’s members are said to have received physical and medical training, attended religious classes, and been taught how to pack “travel bags” filled with rifles and military gear. Some of these classes were taught by Fluke-Ekren, witnesses told investigators.
According to the complaint, Fluke-Ekren arranged to send a text message to her family in the US in 2018 claiming she was dead so the US government wouldn’t try to find her. According to prosecutors, she also told a witness that she never wanted to return to the US and intended to die as a martyr.
Fluke-Ekren is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Monday. If convicted, she faces 20 years in prison.