Kansas woman pleads guilty to leading ISIS female battalion

Allison Elizabeth Fluke-Ekren, 42, faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material to support a foreign terrorist organization.

 A member of Iraqi security forces celebrates as he holds a flag of Islamic State militants on the top of a destroyed building from clashes in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 10, 2017.  (photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)
A member of Iraqi security forces celebrates as he holds a flag of Islamic State militants on the top of a destroyed building from clashes in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq July 10, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/THAIER AL-SUDANI)

An American female Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) fighter pleaded guilty Tuesday to leading a battalion of over 100 women and children in Syria in what prosecutors called a first-of-its-kind case in the United States.

Allison Elizabeth Fluke-Ekren, 42, a former resident of Kansas, traveled to Syria in around 2012 to wage violent jihad, after living in Libya, Turkey and Egypt, working with another terrorist group, Ansar al-Sharia, according to court documents.

She joined the US-designated terrorist group ISIS with her second husband, who led a group of ISIS snipers in the country until his death in 2016 from an airstrike.

American media reported that Fluke-Ekren broke down sobbing after admitting in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to conspiring to provide material to support a foreign terrorist organization, a charge that carries up to a 20-year jail sentence. Reports note that she said in court she had a master's degree in the US in teaching.

 Israel Police arrest 12 ISIS supporters and members after terror attack in Hadera (credit: ISRAEL POLICE) Israel Police arrest 12 ISIS supporters and members after terror attack in Hadera (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Allegations claim that in or around 2015, Fluke-Ekren with her second husband, moved from Syria to Mosul, Iraq, where they temporarily resided inside an ISIS-controlled compound at the University of Mosul.

When Fluke-Ekren arrived in Mosul, she met with ISIS personnel who were in charge of homes for widowed women whose husbands died while fighting for the jihadist group. Fluke-Ekren reportedly assisted the ISIS personnel by offering ideas for how the homes should be run. 

The following year, Fluke-Ekren allegedly led and organized an effort to establish a Women’s Center in Raqqa, Syria.

She obtained authorization from the “Wali”, the ISIS-appointed mayor of Raqqa, in order to create the center. There, Fluke-Ekren and others provided medical services, taught about the Islamic State, offered childcare, and various training to women and young girls.

As the center’s leader, Fluke-Ekren also provided and assisted other female ISIS members in giving training to numerous women and young girls on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and explosive suicide belts.

In 2018, the documents say, Fluke-Ekren had told an individual in Syria to send a message to her family stating that she was dead so that the US government would not attempt to find her. She apparently told the same person that she hoped to die as a martyr for ISIS.

Fluke-Ekren was located outside the US in January 2011 and was transferred in custody to the Eastern District of Virginia on the 28th. She is scheduled to be sentenced on October 25.