News / USA

FBI: Colorado Woman Had Plan to Aid ISIL, Wage Jihad

FILE - Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) statements as they wave al-Qaida flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq.
FILE - Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) statements as they wave al-Qaida flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq.
VOA News

A 19-year-old Colorado woman, arrested in April and accused of providing material support to Islamic insurgents, told FBI agents several times that she wanted to take part in holy war overseas, even though she knew it was illegal, recently released federal court records show.

FBI agents tried more than once to discourage Shannon Maureen Conley, who said she was intent on waging jihad in the Middle East before arresting her as she prepared to board a flight that she hoped would ultimately get her to Syria.

Conley, of Arvada, Colorado, is accused of providing material support to Islamist insurgents fighting the governments of Syria and Iraq, and of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, officials said Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint filed with U.S. District Court in Colorado, Conley, a Muslim convert, is a certified nurse's aide and underwent training at the U.S. Army Explorers (USAE) in Texas in February.

Met suitor online

She was arrested April 8 at Denver's airport, telling federal agents she planned to live with a suitor she met online, apparently a Tunisian man identified only as Y.M., who claimed to be fighting for an al-Qaida splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The militant group also known as ISIL or ISIS has recently overrun parts of Iraq and Syria.

The Sunni Muslim militant group is an al-Qaida offshoot that wants to re-create a medieval-style caliphate from the Mediterranean to the Gulf and deems Shi'ite Muslims to be heretics deserving death.

Conley and Y.M. met online last year.

Her case had been sealed until June 27 when a federal judge ordered most of the records made public.

Court documents said Conley and Y.M. shared a view of Islam "as requiring participation in violent jihad against any non-believers," and said they decided to get engaged.

Her “legitimate targets of attack” included military facilities, government employees and public officials, court documents stated.

Before traveling to Syria, the court papers said, Conley was to obtain additional skills and training to provide support to the insurgents, and to fight herself if deemed necessary.

Conley told investigators she planned to fly to Turkey and then travel to Syria to become a housewife and a nurse at Y.M.'s camp, providing medical services and training.

Extremist views

FBI agents became aware of Conley's growing interest in extremism in November 2013 after she started talking about terrorism with employees of a suburban Denver church who found her wandering around and taking notes on the layout of the campus, according to the court documents.

The church, Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, was the scene of a 2007 shooting in which a man killed two missionary workers.

In a second interview in December 2013, she told FBI agents she joined USAE to be trained in military tactics and firearms, and that she "intended to use that training to go overseas to wage Jihad," the affidavit said.

"When asked if she still wanted to carry out the plans, knowing they are illegal, Conley said that she does," it said.

She spoke with agents several times, telling them of her desire for jihad, the records state.

The agents said they tried openly to dissuade her, urging her instead to support Muslims through humanitarian efforts, which she told them was not an option.

Agents encouraged Conley's parents to get her to meet with elders at her mosque to find more moderate options. Her parents knew she had converted to Islam but were apparently unaware of her extremism, authorities said.

Her father told an agent in March that Conley and her suitor had asked for his blessing to marry and were surprised when he declined. Her father later found a one-way plane ticket to Turkey.

Four days before her arrest, she told agents “there was nothing they could do to change her mind and that she was still going," according to court documents.

If convicted, Conley faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

British case

Also Thursday, British media reported an ominous message delivered via Twitter.

An image of sealed containers, believed to be homemade bombs, was posted with the message: “So the UK is afraid I come back with the skills I gained.”

Reuters reported that the Twitter account belongs to 20-year-old Nasser Muthana, a purported British recruit to ISIL.

In a recruiting video for the Sunni militant group, Muthana goes by the name “Abu Muthanna Al Yemeni,” and calls on others to join: “Oh, you who believe, answer the call of Allah and his messenger when he calls you to what gives you life. [inaudible] says that what gives you life is jihad, and know by Allah that this is the land of jihad and the land of [inaudible]; the land of living. We have brothers from Bangladesh, from Iraq, from Cambodia, Australia, UK, we've nothing has gathered us accept to make Allah [inaudible]'s word the highest. That's all we've came for.”

The message is raising security concerns in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and comes after a three week push by ISIL, now called the Islamic State, to takeover cities across Iraq and Syria.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid