Allison Fluke-Ekren pleaded guilty on Tuesday to operating the Khatiba Nusaybah, an all-female military unit for the Islamic State in Syria, the Justice Department said.
Fluke-Ekren, 42, was a resident of Kansas before she left the United States in 2008 to live with her late second husband, a former member of the terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia.
According to court documents, she resided there until 2011, at which point she reportedly left to engage in terrorism-related activities in Syria, Libya, and Iraq.
Three years later, prosecutors said Fluke-Ekren informed a witness about her desire to attack a U.S. shopping mall's basement or parking garage. That plan fell through, but it led her to explore other projects in the Middle East.
"In or around mid-2016, Fluke-Ekren led and organized an effort to establish a Women's Center in Raqqa, Syria," a news release from the DOJ read.
"As the center's leader, Fluke-Ekren also provided and assisted other female ISIS members in providing training to numerous women and young girls on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and explosive suicide belts," it added.
Fluke-Ekren then informed a witness in 2018 to relay a message to her American family members stating that she had passed in an attempt to convince U.S. authorities not to go looking for her.
After being taken in custody, Fluke-Ekren pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. She is scheduled for sentencing in late October and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
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