Kansas woman pleads guilty to leading ISIS battalion
Allison Fluke-Ekren was charged in February.
A Kansas mother accused of leading an ISIS battalion pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors in northern Virginia announced Tuesday.
Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, allegedly expressed interest in carrying out terrorist attacks in the United States in support of ISIS on six separate occasions between 2014 and 2017, according to court documents unsealed in February.
Fluke-Ekren, who also used the name Umm Mohammed al-Amriki, moved to Syria in 2012 and married a "prominent" ISIS leader, court documents said. She can reportedly speak four languages, and the documents alleged she rose up the ranks to command her own all-female battalion.
She pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
"Fluke-Ekren’s alleged ISIS-related conduct includes, but is not limited to, planning and recruiting operatives for a potential future attack on a college campus inside the United States and serving as the appointed leader and organizer of an ISIS military battalion located in Syria, known as the Khatiba Nusaybah, in order to train women on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, and suicide belts," court documents filed in January said.
"Additionally, Fluke-Ekren allegedly provided ISIS and ISIS members with services, which included providing lodging, translating speeches made by ISIS leaders, teaching extremist ISIS doctrine, and training children on the use of AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, and suicide belts," the documents continued.
One former friend, who said she last spoke to Fluke-Ekren more than 10 years ago, painted a picture of a woman who was close with her family but then became increasingly radicalized.
"I told people who she was friends with in Kansas, I told them, 'This girl is radicalized,'" said the former friend, who agreed to be identified by her last name, Farouk. Farouk knew Fluke-Ekren wheh she lived in Kansas and then as a teacher in the Middle East.
She said that Fluke-Ekren was a "good mom" and that their children were close, but that living in the Middle East as a teacher during the 2010 unrest of the Arab Spring and ensuing refugee crisis deeply impacted her.
Fluke-Ekren faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in October.