U.S. Court Sentences Colorado Teen to 4 Years in Jail for Trying to Join ISIS

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jail for US teen who wanted to fight in Syria.

Conley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation in September under a deal that requires her to divulge information she may have about other Americans with similar intentions. Denver – A 19-year-old Colorado woman and Islamic convert who admitted that she planned to travel overseas to join Islamic State militants was due to be sentenced by a federal judge on Friday.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.

Shannon Maureen Conley has been held without bond since federal agents arrested her last April at Denver International Airport as she prepared to board a plane bound for Germany. 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. Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a Sunni Muslim militant group that has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria and has beheaded several Western captives.

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. Conley, a convert to Islam 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.

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.

Conley, a certified nurse’s aid, went to a US Army Explorers camp in Texas, and had firearms and first-aid training in preparation to wage war against those she considered infidels, court papers showed. 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. 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. Following her guilty plea, public defender Robert Pepin said Conley, although still a devout Muslim, has renounced radical Islam and was horrified when she learned of the “slaughter and oppression” practiced by Islamic State.

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