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WI mother of two arrested for supporting ISIS on social media

An ISIS fighter carries the Islamic State flag. (Wikipedia/Released)
June 15, 2018

A Wisconsin woman was arrested this week at her home in Cudahy for using social media to support ISIS.

Waheba Issa Dais, 45, is charged with “promoting ISIS’s agenda, facilitating recruitment for ISIS, and maintaining a virtual library of instructions on how to make bombs, poison and suicide vests,” all on social media accounts she hacked from unsuspecting victims, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Dais, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and a mother of two, moved to the U.S. from Jerusalem in the 1990s and gained citizenship through marriage, TMJ4 News reported.

Dais used social media to distribute information on how to make explosives and biological weapons to plan chemical attacks, using multiple social media platforms to pledge allegiance to ISIS, encourage recruitment and attack planning for ISIS, according to a 15-page federal complaint.

Dais proposed prospective targets for attacks, such as street festivals and celebrations in the summer, or churches, the FBI said.

A terrorism expert, Thomas Mockaitis, a professor of history at Depaul University, said that ISIS has a much larger presence on the internet – especially on social media – than it did just a few years ago.

“ISIS has developed a very sophisticated media program for gaining recruits and support around the world,” Mockaitis said.

The fact that Dais lived in a rather quiet community and had two children didn’t come as a surprise to Mockaitis.

“The data show an increase in the number of women being attracted – even women with families. This is not at all unusual, and it shows us how we have to constantly be updating our thinking as to who’s likely to become a terrorist,” he pointed out.

Todd Hulsey, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, said the growing terrorist propaganda available online also makes it easier for a person such as Dais to do research and become radicalized without traveling to the Middle East or having any in-person contact with a member of the ISIS terror group.

“Social media has changed the way criminal organizations, terrorist organizations and bad actors in general do business,” Hulsey said.