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ISIS recruiter on the loose in NYC after cutting GPS bracelet

An ISIS fighter carries the Islamic State flag. (Wikipedia/Released)
August 26, 2021

A Brooklyn woman who acted as a “committed recruiter” for ISIS is on the run this week after she failed to appear at a court hearing Wednesday and is suspected of cutting her GPS monitoring bracelet.

Reuters reported that Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said she would issue a bench warrant for 26-year-old Sinmyah Amera Ceasar, who has also gone by the name “Umm Nutella” while recruiting for Islamic State.

Ceasar was supposed to be resentenced this week after a court tossed the “shockingly low” four-year prison sentence issued by the late U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein. Weinstein also cited the ISIS supporter as in need of educational and mental health support due to a lifetime of abuse.

The federal appeals court in Manhattan said the sentence was too mild when compared to “similar terrorism crimes” and that it failed to apply just punishment.  

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Richardson, Ceasar was unresponsive to calls and officials are concerned she “tampered with” her tracking bracelet. Both the FBI and probation officials are investigating the situation, Richardson said.

Federal public defender Samuel Jacobson, who is representing Ceasar, said he thought the ISIS supporter knew she had to appear in court, but that he couldn’t “say for sure that she understood the specifics.”

Prosecutors advised Ceasar be detained, warning she was a flight risk and danger to the community. They also noted that she repeatedly violated probation conditions since being let out of prison in July last year.

Matsumoto echoed the prosecutors’ alarms, adding that she was “concerned that additional violations…have occurred as recently as July.”

Ceasar was originally arrested in November 2016 at the Kennedy Airport in New York where she was reportedly preparing to leave the country. She admitted to prosecutors that she was conspiring to provide support to a foreign terrorist group.

Some of the people who have been evacuated from Afghanistan in the past week have been flagged for potential ties to ISIS, as well as the Taliban, another terrorist organization.

A U.S. official told Defense One that security screeners at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar have determined that at least one of the Afghans who was evacuated from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has potential ties to ISIS. The official also said up to 100 of the 7,000 Afghan applicants of the Special Immigration Visas (SIV) program have been flagged as potential matches on western intelligence agency watch lists.

“There’s certainly been a number of them” who triggered alerts for additional security screenings, the official told Defense One.