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Kansas woman who led ISIS battalion denied bail

Kansas woman who led ISIS battalion denied bail
Allison Fluke-Ekren, pictured in a booking photo, has been denied bail while awaiting trial. Photo courtesy of Alexandria Sheriff's Office

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The former Kansas teacher who faces charges for leading an all-female ISIS battalion has been denied bail while awaiting trial.

Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, waived her right to a preliminary hearing in her case after she first appeared in a U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Monday, court documents obtained by United Press International show.

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Fluke-Ekren has been appointed a public defense attorney, Joseph King, and is currently being held in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center in Alexandria. The Alexandria Sheriff's Office revealed a booking photo showing her wearing black hijab earlier this week.

She was arrested in Syria and transferred into the custody of the FBI last Friday, according to a detention memo published by federal prosecutors Saturday.

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Fluke-Ekren, who also goes by several aliases including Umm Mohammed al-Amriki, is accused of having been involved with terrorism-related activities on behalf of ISIS since at least 2014 -- including plotting a potential attack on a college campus in the United States.

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Prosecutors said Fluke-Ekren moved to Egypt in 2008 and lived there until 2011, when she moved to Libya for a year. She was then smuggled into Syria in 2012 because she wished to engage in "violent jihad," witnesses told investigators.

Photos published to her family blog 4 Kansas Kids appear to show her with her multiple children in Egypt in 2009 during a "nice cruise on the Nile." It is believed she has at least five children.

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"Leyla and Gabe preferred to stay home and battle to the death with their toy weapon arsenal, so Volkan stayed with them. It was a lovely afternoon," Fluke-Ekren wrote in the blog post.

In a 2019 criminal complaint that was unsealed Saturday, the FBI revealed that it spoke with six witnesses during its investigation into Fluke-Ekren. One witness told the FBI that Fluke-Ekren kept an arsenal of weapons in her house in Syria and was responsible for providing weapons to ISIS and training more than 100 women in how to shoot AK-47s and use explosive suicide belts, starting in 2014.

She and her dead husband brought $15,000 to Syria which were used to purchase the AK-47s, as well as grenades, handguns and other weapons, the witness told the FBI. One witness said that they saw Fluke-Ekren's young children, who were about five years old, holding a machine gun in her home in Syria.

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The first witness also said that Fluke-Ekren plotted an attack that had been presented to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The plan involved members of ISIS who would "dress like infidels" dropping off a backpack full of explosives at a college after entering the United States from Mexico.

The plan was apparently put on hold when Fluke-Ekren found out she was pregnant, the witness told the FBI.

Another witness told the FBI that Fluke-Ekren had also plotted an attack on a shopping mall in the United States, in which terrorists would park a vehicle filled with explosives in its parking garage and detonate them with a cell phone trigger device.

The witness said that ISIS did not pursue that attack because her husband objected to the plan.

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