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American woman pleads guilty to leading a female ISIS battalion

Prosecutors found that Fluke-Ekren also took part in “terrorism-related activities” in Syria, Libya, and Iraq between 2011 and 2019

June 8, 2022 12:28pm

Updated: June 9, 2022 12:28pm

An American woman who joined ISIS pleaded guilty on Tuesday in an Alexandria, Virginia, courthouse to leading an all-female battalion for the terrorist organization in Syria.

Allison Elizabeth Fluke-Ekren, 42, became the leader of the battalion known as Khatiba Nusaybah in the city of Raqqa. As a leader, she taught women how to use AK-47s, other explosive devices, and suicide belts, the U.S. Justice Department claimed. 

"Over 100 women and young girls, including as young as ten or 11-years-old, received military training from Fluke-Ekren in Syria on behalf of ISIS," prosecutors said in a statement. 

Prosecutors found that Fluke-Ekren also took part in “terrorism-related activities” in Syria, Libya, and Iraq between 2011 and 2019. 

Her late husband was part of the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group. He allegedly helped steal U.S. documents after a September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission and CIA building in Benghazi. 

The couple then helped summarize the information written on the U.S. documents and reported it to the head of the terrorist group.

Her husband also led a group of ISIS snipers. He died in 2016 from an airstrike while conducting reconnaissance on a hill.

Prosecutors added that in 2014, Fluke-Ekren wanted to carry out a terrorist attack in the U.S. and had discussed such plans with the terrorist group.

"To conduct the attack, Fluke-Ekren 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," prosecutors said.

"Fluke-Ekren further said that she considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources," they added. 

In 2018, Fluke-Ekren told a witness that she had instructed someone to tell her family that she was dead so that the U.S. government would not try to find her, reported The Associated Press.

The next year, she ended her ties with the Islamic State and was smuggled out of the country. She allegedly tried to turn herself in at a local police station but was taken into custody and put in prison for months. 

Fluke-Ekren was arrested in January in Syria. She pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. She will be sentenced on October 25 and could face up to 20 years in prison.