Colorado Woman to Plead Guilty to Aiding a Terror Group
A woman from Arvada, Colorado who was charged with aiding a foreign terrorist organization has agreed to change her plea to guilty, CBS Denver reports.
Shannon Conley, 19, is charged with conspiracy to provide support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now known as the Islamic State (IS) after declaring a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq that it captured.
She was arrested in July as she tried to board a flight to Turkey.
U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Jeff Dorschner said in a statement released Monday morning that a plea hearing has yet to be scheduled in the case.
Court documents claim Conley joined the Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and firearms, and that she told the FBI she wanted to wage Jihad and to go overseas and fight.
She attended middle school in Loveland, then Arvada West High School before transferring to Ralston Valley then back to Arvada West, according to CBS Denver.
Conley was first picked up on the FBI’s radar at the Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada where she was wearing Islamic garb. She told investigators, “If they think I’m a terrorist, I’ll give them something to think I am.”
She also had a number of CDs and DVDs labeled “Anwar Al-Awlaki” that were recovered. Al-Awlaki was the Colorado educated terror suspect assassinated by a U.S. drone missile in Yemen, according to the report.
According to a criminal complaint, Conley’s parents told the FBI they failed to talk their daughter out of her plans. Conley was living with her parents in their Arvada home.
Details of the agreement were not part of the court filing. Deals cannot be disclosed until a change of plea hearing, according to Dorschner.
Western powers have repeatedly expressed concern that some of their citizens have traveled to fight countries such as Iraq and Syria, some of them joining extremist groups that might one day seek to strike their home countries.
It has already been confirmed that one American citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria; in February it was estimated that at least 50 U.S. citizens are fighting in Syria against President Bashar Assad, and are liable to bring terrorism back to the US once the war is over.
The U.S. has been placing a specific focus on preventing Islamism from spreading in America in the same way it has spread through Britain, as a recent expose revealed. The U.S. sent a special CIA unit to the UK to help assess the threat earlier this year; security measures have also been increased throughout several American airports.