Brooklyn resident and Uzbekistan citizen sentenced to 15 years for assisting ISIS, raising questions on national security

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NEW YORK – A Brooklyn resident and citizen of Uzbekistan has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for assisting the Islamic state and supporting ISIS fighters, which raises some questions on the security at our porous border under the Biden administration.

Dilkhayot Kasimov, 34, was found guilty in September of 2019 of his crimes, and awaited sentencing until Friday, June 3, 2022.

At the time of Kasimov’s conviction, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue announced:

“As found by the jury today, Kasimov was part of a conspiracy in which he sought to help fund a foreign fighter’s travel and expenses in Syria to wage violent jihad.”

Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers added:

“Dilkhayot Kasimov worked to support ISIS, including by collecting and giving money to another individual to fund his travel to join the terrorist group.”

Kasimov was not simply involved in the funding of ISIS fighters.

According to UPI, Kasimov and his co-conspirators came to the attention of law enforcement entities after a 2014 posting on an Uzbek-language, pro-ISIS website that “they would kill former president Barack Obama if ordered by the IS.”

Those plans also involved putting bombs on Coney Island.

According to the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said of Kasimov’s sentencing:

“Today’s sentence demonstrates the significant consequences for those who help terrorist groups, including by facilitating travel of others to join ISIS.” 

Peace continued:

“Kasimov was part of a group of individuals who sought to travel to Syria to join ISIS or to fund others who sought to become foreign fighters for ISIS. 

“The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will continue working relentlessly to protect our country from terrorists and those who would provide support to them.”

However, noted bestselling author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer has called into question whether the Biden administration is truly “relentless” in its efforts to prevent terrorism on our soil.

Spencer writes:

“There doesn’t seem to be any published information about the circumstances under which Kasimov was admitted to the country. 

“Nonetheless, his case provides yet more evidence that immigration is a national security issue, and that not only ‘racists’ and ‘Islamophobes’ think otherwise.”

To bolster his point, Spencer lists several other instances of “foreign nationals who have become security risks inside the United States”:

– In Ohio, a “machete-wielding” Somali Muslim immigrant stabbed multiple customers at Nazareth restaurant, owned by an “outspoken Christian from Israel.”

Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim immigrant, was responsible for bombings in New Jersey and New York.

Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim immigrant and self-described “murderer,” shot and killed five people at a mall in Washington.

Dahir Adan, a Somali Muslim migrant, shouted, “Allahu akbar” while he stabbed several shoppers at a Minnesota mall.

Abdul Razak Artan, a Somali Muslim migrant claimed by IS as “one of its soldiers,” plowed his car into a group at Ohio State University before stabbing other victims.

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The dangers from terrorists such as these, Spencer points out, are of increasing concern given the current situation at the border.

According to Fox News, the U.S. is shortly about to receive “potentially the largest [migrant] caravan ever.”

Presently, approximately 10,000 migrants are moving along a “coastal route” to the U.S. border, in a widespread group that reportedly spans “5 1/2 km from the start to the end,” freely waved on by the Mexican state police, the national guard, and the Instituto Nacional de Migración.

It is estimated that the ranks will swell to 15,000 by the time the caravan reaches the border.

The migrants are expecting to stay once they arrive.

According to a Fox interview, Haitian migrants are “demanding that President Biden keep his promise to allow them to stay once they reach the border.”

They told interviewers:

“He promised the Haitian community he will help them.”

They continued:

“He will recall Title 42. He will help us have real asylum.”

These expectations beg the question: who, exactly, is coming across our porous borders, expecting to be awarded a stay in this country?

Spencer has a response:

“What could possibly go wrong? 

“Well, could more jihad terrorists such as Dilkhayot Kasimov take advantage of the chaos at the border to enter the United States and begin to plot massacres here? 

“Come on, man! Celebrate diversity!”

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Report: Kansas-native woman pleads guilty to leading all-female military group for ISIS

Originally published June 10, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, VA- According to reports, on Tuesday, June 7th, a woman who once lived in Kansas, pleaded guilty to operating an all-female military group for ISIS in Syria.

The woman, identified as 42-year-old Allison Fluke-Ekren became the leader of the ISIS battalion known as Khatiba Nusaybah and according to the U.S. Justice Department, she taught women how to use AK-47s and explosive devices.

Prosecutors stated that Fluke-Ekren was part of “terrorism-related activities” in Syria, Libya, and Iraq between 2011 and 2019. Prosecutors also stated:

“Over 100 women and young girls, including as young as 10 or 11-years-old, received military training from Fluke-Ekren in Syria on behalf of ISIS.”

The woman’s late husband, which was her second marriage, was part of the terrorist group Ansar al-Shaira. He claimed that he helped steal U.S. documents and an electronic device following the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission and CIA Annex in Benghazi.

Prosecutors stated that together, the couple provided the summarized information from the stolen items and then reported back to the head of Ansar al-Sharia, the group who was responsible for the terrorist attack.

In the charging documents, Fluke-Ekren was described as a “mother and teacher-turned ISIS battalion leader.” Government travel records indicate that she was last in the United States on January 8, 2011 before traveling to Egypt and Libya, and then ultimately emerged in Syria in 2014.

According to one of at least six government witnesses who say they interacted with her, once in Syria, Fluke-Ekren presented a plan of attack to a paid U.S. foreign government source.

On Tuesday, June 7th, Fluke-Ekren admitted that the plan was to target an American college campus in the Midwest with explosives.

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In 2014, prosecutors said that she told a witness about her desire to carry out an attack on U.S. soil. Prosecutors stated:

“To conduct the attack, Fluke-Ekren 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.”

Prosecutors added:

“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 has been in custody of authorities from the Eastern District of Virginia since late January. In court filings from earlier in the year, a witness characterized the Kansas-native as “off the charts” radicalized, an “11 or 12” on a scale of one to 10.

In the summer of 2016, Fluke-Ekren reportedly married her third husband, a Bangladeshi ISIS member who built drones for ISIS and worked on “attaching chemical weapons onto drones to drop chemical bombs from the air.”

That man was later killed and according to court documents, Fluke-Ekren was married five times in total. She admitted that she continued her affiliation with ISIS until May of 2019 when she ultimately turned herself into local Syrian police.

Fluke-Ekren has pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization and will be sentenced in October. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh, who is one of the prosecutors for the case, said that Fluke-Ekren’s American family said she left a “trail of betrayal” and may very well issue statements to that effect at sentencing in October.

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ISIS terrorist faces life in prison (but not death) after conviction in hostage plot that killed four Americans

April 16th, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, VA – A federal jury on Thursday convicted a former British citizen for his role in a notorious ISIS hostage plot that led to the deaths of four Americans, three of whom were beheaded.

After a six-week trial and four hours of deliberations, a jury in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, found El Shafee Elsheikh, 33, guilty on all eight counts, including lethal hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit murder. He faces up to life in prison.

The jury concluded that he was part of an Islamic State terrorist cell, nicknamed “The Beatles” for their British accents, that beheaded American hostages in Iraq and Syria.

Former hostages, released by the cell after extensive negotiations, testified about the torture they endured at the hands of “The Beatles.” Family members of the deceased victims also testified.

Even though Elsheikh could have received a death sentence for his crimes, U.S. prosecutors have advised British officials that they will not seek the ultimate penalty.

Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey asked to be extradited to the United States rather than face a judge in Iraq, where they likely would have been given harsher sentences.  A third member, Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John,” died in a Hellfire missile drone strike in Syria in 2015. Cell member Aine Lesley Davis was captured by Turkish security and sent to prison.

 

 

Kotey and Elsheikh, who was born in Sudan and raised in London, had their British citizenship revoked in 2018.

Elsheikh was accused of conspiring to kill four Americans who had been taken hostage: Journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. Foley, Sotloff and Kassig were killed in videotaped beheadings.

Mueller was raped repeatedly by the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before her death in Syria, U.S. officials have said. How she died has not been confirmed, with some reports saying she was killed in Jordanian and U.S. airstrikes. Photographs released by her captors do not indicate any bomb blast injuries, but rather blunt force trauma.

They were among 26 hostages taken captive between 2012 and 2015 by the Islamic State, when the terror group controlled large regions of Iraq and Syria.

Elsheikh and Kotey were captured together by the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces in 2018 and brought to Virginia in 2020 to face trial.

Kotey pleaded guilty last September to the murders of Foley, Sotloff, Mueller and Kassig.

During opening arguments in Elsheikh’s trial, the defendant’s  lawyer, Ed MacMahon, called him a “simple ISIS fighter” and attempted to cast doubt on whether he was one of “The Beatles.”

The captors wore masks and had similar accents, making it difficult for hostages to identify them, he argued. MacMahon said:

“It was horrific and senseless. None of that is in dispute. What is in dispute — and what you must decide — is whether Mr. Elsheikh bears any legal responsibility.”

In a 2018 interview with CNN, they did not accept responsibility for the crimes:

“Confronted by CNN with the fact several of their former hostages and alleged victims had said they recognized their faces and voices from previous interviews, Elsheikh declined to comment on what he said would be a legal matter. ‘It’s just an accusation, legally speaking.

You know, if Britain said ‘we are going to deal with you by barbaric law, or with law from the medieval ages,’ then hang, draw and quarter me. But that’s not the case. I’m just merely pointing that out.’ Kotey offered a similarly veiled denial and refused to be drawn on specific allegations.”

“The Beatles,” who guarded foreign hostages for ISIS commanders, were said to be crueler than other  guards. According to a freed French hostage, they were the most feared of the jihadists for their cruel acts, including electric shocks, taser guns, mock executions and waterboarding.

The group tortured and beat prisoners and forced them to fight each other until they collapsed. Surviving hostages testified that the captors delighted themselves rewriting the Eagles’ “Hotel California” as “Hotel Osama” and making the captives sing the refrain “You will never leave.”

Elsheikh’s guilty verdict came even though none of the surviving hostages could identify him as one of their captors. Although the “Beatles” had distinctive accents, they took care to hide their faces behind masks and ordered hostages to avoid eye contact or they would be beaten.

Randall Rogan, a terrorism expert and professor of communication at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, said the trial was a “strike for justice,” he told Voice of America on Thursday. Rogan said:

“It’s great news that the witnesses were able to pull themselves together and be able to testify under such difficult circumstances for themselves and having to revisit the horrors of that time for themselves and for their families.

“Hopefully, this is a positive note, a strike for justice, that this individual is ultimately being held accountable for the atrocities that he committed.”

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