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Feds arrest Georgia woman for supporting an Islamic State-linked group

Members of the Clovis, N.M., Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team handcuff a U.S. airman during a hostile threat exercise at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 20, 2012. (Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece/U.S. Air Force)

Authorities arrested a 20-year-old woman south of Augusta on Tuesday for allegedly supporting an Islamic State-linked group that has called for killing thousands of people in the New York City area, including U.S. troops.

Three years ago, Kim Anh Vo — who also goes by “Zozo,” “Miss.Bones” and “Kitty Lee” — allegedly joined the United Cyber Caliphate, an online group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, the U.S. Justice Department announced in a news release. The organization, according to the federal agency, is “committed to carrying out online attacks and cyber intrusions against Americans.”

Since Vo joined the group, Justice Department officials said, it and its subgroups have disseminated online “kill lists,” identifying U.S. soldiers and U.S. State Department workers. One such list from April 2016 identified about 3,600 people in the New York City area, declaring “We Want them #Dead.”

Two years ago, the group posted another kill list with the names of more than 8,000 people and links to a video that said: “We have a message to the people of the U.S., and, most important, your President Trump: Know that we continue to wage war against you.” The video contained what appeared to be a graphic depiction of a man being decapitated.

Vo has also sought to recruit others to join the group and assist it with its hacking efforts, according to the Justice Department. Among them is a minor living in Norway. Vo allegedly recruited that person to create an online video threatening a New York City-based nonprofit group that fights the promotion of extremist ideologies.

Vo, who was arrested in Hephzibah, Ga., has been charged with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison. On Tuesday, she appeared before a federal court in Augusta, and her case was transferred to a different federal court in New York.

Her defense attorney, Ken Crowder, declined to comment other than to confirm Vo consented to be transported to New York for “all matters related to her case.”

The New York City Police Department, which is also involved in the case, referred questions to the Justice Department, which declined to comment.

Vo is not the first Georgian to draw the attention of counterterrorism officials this year. In January, federal authorities arrested Hasher Taheb, 21, of Cumming for allegedly plotting to attack the White House. Authorities said Taheb was acting alone and they made no accusation that he had ties to any terrorist group, though he allegedly said he planned to travel to “hijra,” a term said to refer to Islamic State territory.


© 2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.