A Kansas woman who led an all-female ISIS battalion in Syria was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison.
Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, received the sentence in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, after pleading guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
“I deeply regret my choices, but I also deeply sympathize with women abused and raped in Syria,” Fluke-Ekren told the judge ahead of her sentencing, according to Fox News.
The sentencing also includes 25 years of supervised release after her imprisonment. The plea deal was made after Fluke-Ekron confessed that she translated and analyzed documents stolen from the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after a terrorist attack in 2012.
Her daughter, Layla Ekren, now 20, filed a letter against her mother in court testimony. Layla claimed that she was abused by her mother and forced to marry an ISIS fighter at the age of 13.
Fluke-Ekren also attempted to convince the U.S. government that she was dead in 2018 to avoid being detained, according to a press release from the Justice Department.
“In 2018, Fluke-Ekren informed another witness that she had instructed an individual in Syria to send a message to one of her family members stating that Fluke-Ekren was dead so that the U.S. government would not attempt to locate her. Fluke-Ekren informed this same witness that it was important to kill the ‘kuffar’ (disbelievers) and die as martyrs on behalf of ISIS in Syria,” the statement read.
Fluke-Ekren was originally detained in January and revealed that she led attacks in Syria involving a group of 100 women. She also admitted to plotting attacks on American targets, including a university and a shopping mall.
“To conduct the attack, Fluke-Ekren allegedly 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 allegedly considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources,” the Department of Justice stated in January.
Fluke-Ekren was previously a school teacher and a mother of at least seven children, including five born in the U.S. She moved to Egypt in 2008, then to Libya in 2011.
She moved with other ISIS members to Syria in 2012 after the attack on Benghazi. The Daily Wire previously reported that court documents also revealed that she and her husband, who was killed in an airstrike in 2016, were affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia and that the couple had drafted a report for terrorist leaders after analyzing government documents stolen during the Benghazi attack.
While in Syria, Fluke-Ekren stated that she was involved in weapons training with groups of women, including teenage girls and some girls as young as 10 years old. The weapons included AK-47s, grenades, and suicide vests.