News ID: 114748
Published: 0703 GMT April 04, 2015

FBI nabs woman for trying to join ISIL

FBI nabs woman for trying to join ISIL

The FBI has arrested a Philadelphia woman in the US state of Pennsylvania and charged her with attempting to join and provide support to the ISIL terrorist group in Syria.

The US Justice Department said Friday that Keonna Thomas, also known as Fatayat Al Khilafah and Young Lioness, was charged with trying to provide material support and resources, including herself as a fighter, to a foreign terrorist organization, Press TV said.

Federal prosecutors allege that Thomas communicated with an ISIL Takfiri terrorist in Syria and told the militant she wanted to take part in a terrorist operation in that country.

Thomas also did online research on indirect travel routes to Turkey and purchased a plane ticket for a flight overseas, according to the allegations.

Turkey is a common transit point for people traveling from the West to enter Syria and join ISIL.

If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, according to the Justice Department.

This comes as two women in New York City were arrested on Thursday over their ties to ISIL and allegedly planning to carry out a "terrorist attack" in the United States.

Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, plotted to hit government, police or military targets, according to a complaint filed at a US federal court in Brooklyn.

Last month, US Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh was charged with attempting to join and aid ISIL terrorists in Syria.

Also in March, a US Army National Guard soldier and his cousin were arrested on charges of conspiring to support ISIL and attack a military installation in Illinois.

US officials have warned the public and law enforcement agencies across the country about young Americans wanting to join the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

The ISIL terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

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