Colorado woman gets 4 years for wanting to join ISIS

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jail for US teen who wanted to fight in Syria.

Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, from Denver in Colorado, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.A 19-year-old Colorado woman and Muslim convert who admitted that she planned to travel overseas to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants was sentenced on Friday to four years in federal prison as she renounced the violence of radical Islam.LOS ANGELES, Jan 24- A US court jailed a “radicalized” Colorado teenager intercepted by the FBI when she attempted to join her fiance in the Islamic State (IS) group to fight in Syria.

Conley – who planned to work as a nurse’s aide and said she would engage in battle if she had to – wanted to marry a man she met online who told her he was fighting with Isis, FBI agents claim. She told the judge that she was misled on what Islam is about and claimed she only learnt about the atrocities Isis inflicted in the Middle East after her arrest.

Conley, who struck a plea bargain with prosecutors, had expressed a desire to wage violent jihad, or holy war, after meeting a man on the Internet who claimed to be an active member of IS in Syria. Conley, who was arrested in April last year as she boarded a plane on a journey to Syria, said: “I am glad I have learned of their true identity here and not on the front lines. He also barred her from possessing black powder used in explosives, saying: “I’m not going to take a chance with you.” FBI agents say they became aware of her interest in joining a terrorist organisation in late 2013, after she started talking about it with members of a church, and they say they tried to dissuade her from becoming involved. “Even though I was committed to the idea of jihad, I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” she said in court yesterday. “It was all about defending Muslims.” Federal defender Robert Pepin said Conley had grown and that also giving herself the Muslim name Amatullah, and previously Halima, is a show of her transformation. Conley, dressed in striped prison garb and wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, read a prepared statement in court before she was sentenced, pausing at one point to compose herself as she became emotional. Coalition airstrikes have pounded at least two dozen locations around Mosul, destroying dozens of vehicles, buildings, fighting positions and insurgent units.

The airstrikes, said one senior US military official, are the start of a new phase, and military leaders are watching to see how IS militants respond as their supply and communications lines dry up. Conley, from suburban Denver, struck up an online relationship last year with a Tunisian man, identified as Yousr Mouelhi, who said he was a member of the insurgent group, according to an FBI arrest warrant affidavit. “During their communications, Conley and Mouelhi shared their view of Islam as requiring participation in violent jihad,” according to the plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors. At the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby said US efforts to train Iraqi forces and moderate Syrian rebels to fight IS militants are moving forward, even as insurgents still control huge swathes of Iraq. Army Explorers camp in Texas, and had firearms and first-aid training in preparation for waging war against those she considered infidels, court papers showed. Conley had faced up to five years in prison, but prosecutors agreed not to seek the maximum penalty because of her guilty plea and cooperation with investigations.

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