US woman who led female IS battalion faces up to 20 years in prison

US woman who led female IS battalion faces up to 20 years in prison


An American who grew up on a farm in Kansas, converted to Islam and joined the Islamic State in Syria, where she led an all-female military battalion, is scheduled to be convicted Tuesday of supporting a foreign terrorist group.

Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges in a US district court in Alexandria, Virginia in June.

“Fluke-Ekren has committed terrorist attacks on behalf of three foreign terrorist organizations in war zones in Libya, Iraq and Syria for at least eight years,” US Attorney Raj Parekh said in a memo before the sentencing.

“Fluke-Ekren brainwashed young girls and taught them to kill,” Parekh said. “She blazed a trail of terror, plunging her own children into unfathomable depths of cruelty by physically, psychologically, emotionally and sexually abusing them.”

Parekh urged Judge Leonie Brinkema to impose the maximum sentence of 20 years and traced Fluke-Ekren’s journey from her upbringing on a 33-acre farm in Kansas to her arrest in Syria after ISIS’s territorial defeat in 2019.

While other Americans traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, most were men, and Fluke-Ekren is the rare American to hold a senior position in the ranks of the now-defunct Islamic caliphate.

Born Allison Brooks, she grew up in a “loving and stable home” in Overbrook, Kansas, and was considered a “gifted” student, the US attorney said.

However, she dropped out of high school in her sophomore year and married a local named Fluke, with whom she had two children.

Her son from that marriage testified anonymously about years of abuse inflicted on him and his siblings by their mother.

“My mother is a monster with no love for her children, no apology for her actions,” said her son, who plans to attend the sentencing hearing in Alexandria on Tuesday. “She has the blood, pain and suffering of all her children on her hands.”

After leaving her first husband, Fluke-Ekren attended the University of Kansas, where she married a fellow student named Volkan Ekren and became a Muslim. She later earned a teaching certificate from a college in Indiana.

They had five children together and adopted another after the child’s parents were killed in suicide bombers in Syria.

– “Extremist ideology and violence” –

In 2008, the family moved to Egypt and in 2011 to Libya, where, according to the US attorney, “Fluke-Ekren’s dogged quest for positions of power and influence began to educate young women on extremist ideology and violence.”

They were in Benghazi in September 2012 when the militant Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia attacked the US mission and CIA office there, killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.

Fluke-Ekren, who speaks fluent Arabic, assisted Ansar al-Sharia by “reviewing and summarizing the contents of stolen US government documents.”

The family left Libya in late 2012 or early 2013 and moved back and forth between Iraq, Turkey and Syria, was heavily involved with ISIS and lived at times in the group’s stronghold in Mosul.

After Fluke-Ekren’s husband – the leader of an IS sniper unit – was killed in 2015, she forced her 13-year-old daughter to marry an IS fighter, the US attorney said.

Fluke-Ekren, who adopted the war name Umm Mohammed al-Amriki after joining IS, married three more times and had four more children.

Her fourth husband was an ISIS military leader in charge of ISIS defenses of Raqqa in 2017.

In 2017, Fluke-Ekren became the leader of a battalion of female ISIS members called “Khatiba Nusaybah,” which the US attorney said was providing military training to more than 100 women and girls.

“During the training sessions, Fluke-Ekren taught the women and young girls how to use AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and explosive belts,” Parekh said.

“One of those kids, some of whom were as young as 10 or 11, was her own daughter.”

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