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How an American Woman Helped Train ISIS Terrorists

ISIS
ISIS Flag. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

A U.S. citizen has pleaded guilty to charges that she aided the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. Last week, Allison Fluke-Ekren admitted that she provided military training to more than 100 women and young girls who served in an ISIS all-female battalion. 

 An American Terrorist 

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Fluke-Ekren with organizing, leading, and directing the would-be fighters on behalf of ISIS. Designated as a foreign terrorist organization, ISIS terrorized parts of Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2020. 

The 42-year-old Fluke-Ekren used to reside in Kansas. She started traveling overseas around September 2008 when she moved to Egypt with her former husband, who was also a member of ISIS and was killed. 

In September 2011, Fluke-Ekren moved to Benghazi, Libya, and started engaging in terrorist activities. After the al Qaeda attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in that city, Fluke-Ekren visited the destroyed compounds and stole at least one box containing classified documents. She then moved to Syria and Iraq, where she directly supported ISIS.

Her activities were not limited to providing military training and support to ISIS. Fluke-Ekren was considering a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The U.S. Department of Justice described her activities and motivations in a press release:

“While residing in Syria, Fluke-Ekren told a witness about her desire to conduct an attack in the United States. To conduct the attack, Fluke-Ekren explained that she could go to a shopping mall in the United States, park a vehicle full of explosives in the basement or parking garage level of the structure, and detonate the explosives in the vehicle with a cell phone triggering device. Fluke-Ekren also spoke about learning how to make bombs and explosives. Fluke-Ekren further said that she considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources. Fluke-Ekren would hear about external attacks taking place in countries outside the United States and would comment that she wished the attack had occurred on U.S. soil instead,” 

All told, the Justice Department concludes that the American woman engaged in terrorism-related activities across the Levant, Middle East, and North Africa from September 2011 until May 2019. Some of the countries where Fluke-Ekren carried out these acts include Syria, Libya, and Iraq. 

 An ISIS Battalion Commander 

The unit Fluke-Ekren led was known as the Khatiba Nusaybah. She trained the women in small unit tactics and marksmanship, including how to operate and maintain AK-47 rifles, grenades, and even suicide belts. Some of the girls that received military training from Fluke-Ekren were as young as 10 years old. 

“In addition, witnesses with first-hand knowledge stated that the Khatiba Nusaybah also provided certain members with instruction on physical training ­including martial arts, medical training, VBIED [vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices] driving courses, ISIS religious classes, and how to pack and prep a ‘go bag’ with rifles and other military supplies,” the Justice Department added. 

 1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

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