A Kansas school teacher turned ISIS trainer faces 20-years in prison after pleading guilty in June to conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organisation. She will face sentencing today. Allison Fluke-Ekren helped train more than 100 women and young girls, some as young as 10, to use “AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and explosive suicide vests”, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
Fluke-Ekren committed terror attacks in Libya, Iraq and Syria and planned mass-casualty attacks in the US, according to prosecutors.
She also organised and led a battalion of women and girl ISIS fighters, something which was unusual in the fundamentalist terrorist group.
Prosecutors argued the maximum sentence of 20 years was not enough of a punishment but should, nevertheless, be imposed.
However, Fluke-Ekren’s lawyers urged U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema to impose an unspecified shorter sentence because of the trauma she experienced overseas.
Three of her husbands and two children died overseas, she suffered post traumatic stress disorder in Syria and she renounced violence when she renounced ISIS in May 2019, her lawyers said.
Fluke-Ekren met her second husband, a member of the terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia, while while studying biology at the University of Kansas. After graduating she taught maths and science at a school in Wichita.
In 2008, the couple moved to Egypt and then to Libya where her husband claimed to have stolen documents from the US Special Mission and CIA Annex which were attacked in Benghazi in 2012. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, died in the attack.
The couple left Libya making their way to Syria, via Turkey, where her husband ascended through the ranks of ISIS.
While in Syria, Fluke-Ekren discussed with ISIS fighters how she could pack a vehicle full of explosives and detonate it at an American shopping mall, according to a DOJ statement.
The statement adds: “Fluke-Ekren further said that she considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources.
“[She] would hear about external attacks taking place in countries outside the United States and would comment that she wished the attack had occurred on US soil instead.”
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In 2016, with the approval of ISIS leadership, she started the Khatiba Nusaybah battalion, made of up women, where she taught women and girls as young 10 to use “AK-47 assault rifles , grenades and explosive suicide vests”.
Fluke-Ekren grew up on an 81-acre farm in Overbrook, Kansas in a “loving and stable home”, according to prosecutors. Her grandfather fought in WWII and her father fought in the Vietnam War.
During the sentencing investigations, prosecutors unearthed allegations by Fluke-Ekren’s eldest son and daughter of sexual and physical abuse.
Her son, who has not been named in court documents , detailed years of abuse by his mother including being chocked to unconsciousness, locked in tight spaces and having salt and chemicals poured in his wounds.
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“My mother is a monster who enjoys torturing children for sexual pleasure,” he said in a letter to the court.
Fluke-Ekren’s daughter also claimed that she would beat her before masturbating in the next room. Both are expected to attend the sentencing hearing in Alexandria, Virginia.
Fluke-Ekren’s lawyers said they didn’t have the time or resources to fight her children’s allegations but released a statement denying the abuse.
“She vehemently denies the allegations of abuse and many of the characterizations of her in these paragraphs and points out there were no prior complaints lodged against [her] by her large extended family to any authority,” her lawyers said.