An American woman who organized and led an all-female ISIS battalion in Syria — training girls as young as 10-years-old and plotting terror attacks on the U.S. — has pleaded guilty to “conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” the Department of Justice revealed on Tuesday.
Court documents show that Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, who is also known as “Umm Mohammed” left her residence in Kansas and traveled to Syria, Libya, and Iraq to engage in “terrorism-related activities” from around September 2011 through May 2019.
She ultimately became leader of the ISIS battalion called Khatiba Nusaybah and trained over 100 women and girls as young as 10-years-old “on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, and suicide belts.”
Fluke-Ekren is scheduled for sentencing on October 25 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
According to the DOJ, Fluke-Ekren moved to Egypt around 2008 with her second husband, a now-deceased former member of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia. In 2011, she and her second husband moved to Benghazi, Libya.
“In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Fluke-Ekren’s second husband claimed that he removed at least one box of documents and at least one electronic device from the U.S. compound in Benghazi,” the DOJ said.
Fluke-Ekren helped her second husband review and summarize the stolen materials, which they then gave to the Ansar al-Sharia leadership in Benghazi.
Around 2012, Fluke-Ekren and her second husband traveled from Libya to Turkey and then to Syria, where her second husband “ascended through the ranks of ISIS and ultimately became the “emir” (leader) of ISIS snipers in Syria.”
During that time, Fluke-Ekren expressed a desire to attack the United States, a witness said.
“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,” the DOJ explained. “Fluke-Ekren also spoke about learning how to make bombs and explosives.”
“Fluke-Ekren further said that she considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources. Fluke-Ekren would hear about external attacks taking place in countries outside the United States and would comment that she wished the attack had occurred on United States soil instead,” the department continued.
Several years later, a leader of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, approved the creation of an all-female ISIS battalion, dubbed “Khatiba Nusaybah.” As leader of the battalion, Fluke-Ekren sought to help “ISIS expand and to remain” by teaching her trainees how to use AK-47 rifles, grenades, suicide belts. She also provided instruction on martial arts, medical training, driving, ISIS religious class, and how to prepare a “go bag” with rifles and military supplies.”
A witness said that she attempted to fake her death in 2018 so that “the U.S. government would not attempt to locate her.”
“Fluke-Ekren informed this same witness that it was important to kill the ‘kuffar’ (disbelievers) and die as martyrs on behalf of ISIS in Syria,” the DOJ said.