Who is Allison Fluke-Ekren? Kansas mom, 42, led an all-women ISIS battalion in Syria

Allison Fluke-Ekren is accused of training her own children to use AK-47s and suicide belts


                            Who is Allison Fluke-Ekren? Kansas mom, 42, led an all-women ISIS battalion in Syria
Fluke-Ekren trained more than 100 women to fire assault rifles, throw grenades, and drive explosives-laden vehicles (Martyn Aim/Getty Images)
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A former Kansas woman has been charged with joining ISIS and leading an all-female battalion of fighters in Syria. A mother of five, 42-year-old Allison Fluke-Ekren is accused of training her own children to use AK-47s and suicide belts. She translated speeches from ISIS leaders and even planned an attack on an American college campus.

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In 2016, Fluke-Ekren was appointed to lead an all-female military unit of the Islamic State, known as the Khatiba Nusaybah, in Raqqa, Syria. As part of the unit, Fluke-Ekren trained more than 100 women to fire assault rifles, throw grenades, drive explosives-laden vehicles, and use suicide belts in an attempt to train them to fight in 2017 siege of Raqqa. 

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Referring to a complaint filed in 2019 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which was unsealed now, the Department of Justice said, "The complaint details the eyewitness observations of six separate individuals who collectively observed Fluke-Ekren’s alleged terrorist conduct from at least 2014 through approximately 2017. For example, Fluke-Ekren allegedly told a witness about her desire to conduct an attack in the United States. 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. As alleged by the same witness, Fluke-Ekren would hear about external attacks taking place in countries outside the United States and would comment that she wished the attack occurred on United States soil instead."

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"The complaint further describes Fluke-Ekren’s alleged leadership role in the Khatiba Nusaybah. According to a witness, in or about late 2016, the “Wali” (or ISIS-appointed mayor) of Raqqa, Syria, allegedly permitted the opening of the “Khatiba Nusaybah,” which was a military battalion comprised solely of female ISIS members who were married to male ISIS fighters. Shortly thereafter, Fluke-Ekren allegedly became the leader and organizer of the battalion. Fluke-Ekren’s alleged main objective in this role was to teach the women of ISIS how to defend themselves against ISIS’ enemies. According to another witness, ISIS allegedly mandated women who were staying in Raqqa during the 2017 siege to attend the training. The siege was launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against ISIS with an aim to seize Raqqa, the former de facto capital of ISIS in Syria. The battle began on or about June 6, 2017 and concluded on or about Oct. 17, 2017, at which point the SDF regained controlled of Raqqa," the department added. 

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Prosecutors said that Fluke-Ekren's first husband was killed in Syria 2016 as he tried to carry out a terrorist attack. She later married a Bangladeshi ISIS member and after he died too, she wed a prominent ISIS leader who headed the group’s failed 2017 defense of Raqqa. Fluke-Ekren asked a contact in Syria in 2018 to tell an American family member that she had died, “so that the US government would not attempt to locate her." 

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"Fluke-Ekren is charged with providing and conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors," the Department of Justice said. 

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