Jun 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Kansas woman pleads guilty to leading all-female ISIS batallion

Billboards in northern Syria showing the ISIS logo in 2017

Billboards in northern Syria showing the ISIS logo in 2017. Photo: George OurFalian/AFP via Getty Images

An American woman who led an all-female ISIS battalion pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a single charge of providing support to a terrorist organization.

Why it matters: Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, is the first U.S. woman to be tried for having a leadership role with ISIS, per the Washington Post. As part of a plea deal, she detailed to prosecutors her role in ISIS and her connection to the 2012 Benghazi attacks, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Fluke-Ekren was the leader and organizer of Khatiba Nusaybah, an ISIS battalion that trained female fighters to use use assault rifles, suicide belts packed with explosives and grenades, the Department of Justice wrote Tuesday.

  • Originally from Kansas, Fluke-Ekren arrived in Syria in late 2012 or early 2013, and spoke openly about her desire to conduct an attack on the U.S., per the DOJ.
  • Khatiba Nusaybah began operations the Islamic State in 2017 and trained over 100 women and girls, some as young as 10 and 11 years old.

What's next: Fluke-Ekren is set to be sentenced on October 25 and faces up to 20 years in prison.

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