US Woman Sentenced to 20 Years For Leading ISIS Battalion

A Kansas woman who led an all-female ISIS battalion in Syria was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 25 years of supervised release on Tuesday, the maximum sentence allowed by law.

US Woman Sentenced to 20 Years For Leading ISIS Battalion
Image credit: AP [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • A Kansas woman who led an all-female ISIS battalion in Syria was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 25 years of supervised release on Tuesday, the maximum sentence allowed by law.
  • Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, pleaded guilty to providing material support to a terrorist network earlier this year. She has also admitted to heading a battalion that taught around 100 women and girls to use automatic weapons and detonate grenades and suicide belts. Some of the girls were reportedly as young as 10.
  • Fluke-Ekren participated in terrorist acts in Iraq and Libya over an eight-year period, and pleaded guilty to the charges in June.
  • Two of her children, both now adults, also testified against her. Her son alleged that she tried to convince him to travel from the US to Syria to prevent him from providing information to American authorities. Meanwhile, her daughter told the court that she was severely abused by the defendant, who allegedly coerced her into marrying an ISIS fighter.
  • Prosecutor Raj Parekh said that Fluke-Ekren had repeatedly lied to the US government and refused to cooperate in investigations. She could have been a "goldmine of intelligence," he added.

Sources: Telegraph, Guardian, BBC News, NBC, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by The Guardian. Fluke-Ekren was an ISIS empress who abused her children, committed terrorist acts abroad, and even planned attacks on US soil. The fact that she is being punished to the full extent of the law is a victory for justice.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Foreign Policy. While a win, too much focus on punishing one individual for their extremism and atrocities won't help Western nations with the pragmatic steps they need to take to protect themselves from further terrorism. Nations in Europe and America must mitigate radicalization at home by building more inclusive and well-integrated societies.