Family of Kansas Woman Charged With Joining IS Tells Feds They Want No Contact With Her

Prosecutors say the family of a Kansas woman charged with joining the Islamic State group in Syria for terroristic activities wants nothing to do with her.

Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, was arrested by the FBI and transported on Friday from Syria to Virginia to face charges of providing material support to a terrorist organization, the Department of Justice said in a statement Saturday.

During the suspect's Monday court appearance in Alexandria, Virginia, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh told the judge that in his contact with Fluke-Ekren's parents and adult children he found none wish to have any contact with her, the Associated Press reported.

Judge Ivan Davis told the prosecutors he had limited ability to stop the defendant from reaching out to her family from jail, but the defendant told the judge she understood the restriction, according to the AP.

In 2012, Fluke-Ekren was smuggled into Syria from Libya. One witness alleges she left Libya because a terrorist organization stopped issuing attacks and she "wished to engage in violent jihad," court documents say.

According to an unsealed criminal complaint from 2019, the defendant became the leader of an IS military battalion while in Syria where she trained women and children to use suicide belts, grenades and AK-47 assault rifles.

Prosecutors said six separate individuals observed Fluke-Ekren's alleged terrorist activity from at least 2014 through 2017. In one instance, the defendant wanted to recruit operatives to potentially attack a U.S. college campus by using a backpack with explosives, according to an FBI affidavit.

In another instance, the defendant allegedly told a witness she wanted to attack a U.S. shopping mall by parking a vehicle full of explosives in a parking garage and detonating them using a cellphone triggering device, the DOJ said in their statement.

The same witness said the accused "considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources." The witness alleged when the defendant heard about attacks in countries outside of the U.S. she commented how she wished the attacks happened on U.S. soil instead, according to the court documents.

A witness told the FBI the suspect and her husband brought $15,000 to Syria and used the money to buy weapons such as handguns, grenades and automatic AK-47 assault rifles. The suspect's husband was the commander of snipers for IS but was later killed by an airstrike while trying to conduct a terrorist attack, according to the criminal complaint.

Court papers said the defendant moved to Egypt in 2008 and traveled between the U.S. and Egypt over three years. She has not been in the U.S. since 2011.

If convicted of providing material support to a terrorist organization, Fluke-Ekren could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison, the DOJ said in their statement.

Kansas Woman Charged for Joining IS
This undated photo provided by the Alexandria, Va., Sheriff's Office in January 2022 shows Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, who has been arrested after federal prosecutors charged her with joining the Islamic State group and leading an all-female battalion of AK-47 wielding militants. The U.S. Attorney in Alexandria announced Saturday, January 29, 2022, that she has been charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization. Alexandria Sheriff's Office/AP Photo