Teen 'In Love With ISIS Fighter' Met With Authorities 8 Times Before Being Arrested


Reached by ABC News, Conley’s public defender said he had no comment. Conley's father and sister also declined to comment.

The FBI agent first learned about Conley's alleged suitor after receiving a phone call from Shannon's father on March 14, authorities said.

John Conley called the agent and said that his daughter had met a 32-year-old Tunisian man and he learned about their relationship when he found his daughter talking to the man via Skype, according to the charging document. The man, whose name was redacted in the report, asked John for permission to marry his daughter and asked him to send her to Syria immediately but he said no.

The news of the FBI's detainment of the girl was not made public until June 26, more than two months after they stopped her from boarding the plane, when a judge ordered the case documents to be unsealed.

Converting to Islam

Conley was interviewed in January and told the agent about her plans to go to the Middle East by way of Morocco, and once she was out of the United States she decided that she would call her family and tell them of her Jihad plans once "there was nothing they would be able to do about it."

The FBI agent met with Conley again in February and March- which marked the teen's fifth and sixth interviews with authorities- and she repeated her plans to participate in Jihad in both. The criminal complaint states that the agent spoke with her parents after their fifth meeting with Shannon, and they told officials about their understanding of their daughter's religious beliefs.

They said the teen had converted to Islam but did not believe that "she had any interest in extremist Islam or violent Jihad".

Her father told the agents that she had described Jihad "as struggles to help the oppressed or the poor" but the agent went on to explain that she had been overt in their meetings about her violent intentions.

The agents asked Shannon's parents, John and Ana Conley, to have a "candid" conversation about her religious beliefs. Two weeks later, the pair called the agent to discuss their findings. John Conley said their daughter's beliefs were "far more extreme than he had previously thought".

"[Shannon] Conley believed she, as a Muslim, needed to marry young and be confrontational in her support of Islam," the agent recalled John Conley explaining, according to the criminal complaint.

Her parents were not the only ones to become aware of her conversion to Islam, as neighbor Brenda Herrara told ABC News Radio that she noticed a change in her dress, saying that her more recent wardrobe matched Islamic standards.

"She would wear shorts and everything when they first moved in and then all of a sudden she started wearing those maybe six months after they moved here," Herrara said, though it is unclear exactly when the family moved to Arvada.

Trying to Stop Her

Conley's seventh interview, in March, "was an overt attempt to dissuade Conley from violent criminal activity and give her the opportunity to turn away from her intention to participate in supporting terrorist activities," according to the criminal complaint.

In that meeting, the agent warned her about the illegality of such mission and Conley said "she would rather be in prison than do nothing."

The FBI agent first learned about Conley's alleged suitor after receiving a phone call from Shannon's father on March 14.

John Conley said the man had asked him for permission to marry his daughter and requested that he send Shannon to Syria immediately.

Trying to Stop her ... Again!

In a follow up meeting with the agent two weeks later, John Conley "stated conclusively they did not provide their blessing, nor their support for her travel and marriage."

The agent confronted Shannon about her "suitor" in their last meeting on April 4. She did not explicitly tell the agent how she got in touch with the man, but she claimed he was a fighter for ISIS, a terrorist group that has gained international attention in light of their violent actions in Iraq.

"Conley said she planned to travel next week to meet her suitor in Syria and that they intended to reside near the Turkish border. Conley stated the airline ticket was purchased for her," the criminal complaint stated.

"Conley told investigators she planned to be the suitor’s housewife and the camp nurse. When Conley told the suitor she wants to provide his camp with medical services and training, he told her that was good because they needed more nurses."

The agent stressed the dangers that come with terrorist involvement and Conley said: "I know things can go terribly wrong."

With reporting by ABC News' Carol McKinley and Ryan Budnick.

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