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Kansas mom gets 20 years for leading Islamic State battalion

They stated they had been bodily and sexually abused by their mom, and described the mistreatment intimately in letters to the court docket. Fluke-Ekren denied the abuse.

The daughter, Leyla Ekren, stated “lust for control and power” drove her mom to pull the household midway internationally to discover a terrorist group that may permit Fluke-Ekren to flourish, throughout a sufferer affect assertion she gave on the listening to.

She stated her mom turned expert at hiding the abuse she inflicted. She described a circumstance the place her mom poured an off-brand lice medicine throughout her face as a punishment and it began to blister her face and burn her eyes. Fluke-Ekren then tried to clean the chemical compounds off her daughers’s face, however Leyla Ekren resisted.

“I wanted people to see what kind of person she was. I wanted it to blind me,” she stated as her mom sat just a few ft away, resting her head on her hand with a glance of disbelief. After her youngsters testified, she glared of their course.

Fluke-Ekren’s standing as a U.S.-born girl who rose to a management standing within the Islamic State makes her story distinctive amongst terror instances. Prosecutors say the abuse she inflicted on her youngsters from a younger age helps clarify how she went from an 81-acre farm in Overbrook, Kansas, to an Islamic State chief in Syria, with stops in Egypt and Libya alongside the way in which.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh stated Fluke-Ekren’s household despatched her to an elite non-public faculty in Topeka and that she grew up in a steady residence. Parekh stated Fluke-Ekren’s instant household was unanimous in its want to see her punished to the utmost extent doable, a circumstance the veteran prosecutor described as extraordinarily uncommon.

“There is nothing in Fluke-Ekren’s background that can explain her conduct, which was driven by fanaticism, power, manipulation, delusional invincibility, and extreme cruelty,” Parekh stated.

Fluke-Ekren requested for only a two-year sentence so she may increase her younger youngsters. She stated on the outset of a prolonged, weepy speech that she takes accountability for her actions earlier than rationalizing and minimizing her conduct.

“We just lived a very normal life,” she advised the choose about her time in Syria, displaying photos of her children at a weekly pizza dinner.

She denied the abuse allegations, and tried to accuse her oldest son of manipulating her daughter into making them.

She portrayed the Khatiba Nusaybah as one thing extra akin to a neighborhood heart for girls that morphed right into a sequence of self-defense courses because it turned clear that the town of Raqqa, the Islamic State stronghold the place she lived, confronted invasion.

She acknowledged that ladies and ladies had been taught to make use of suicide belts and automated weapons however portrayed it as security coaching to keep away from accidents in a warfare zone the place such weapons had been frequent.

Judge Leonie Brinkema, although, made clear she was unimpressed by Fluke-Ekren’s justifications. At one level, Fluke-Ekren defined the necessity for girls to defend themselves towards the potential of rape by enemy troopers. “Sexual violence is not OK in any circumstance,” she stated.

Brinkema interrupted to ask Fluke-Ekren in regards to the daughter’s allegation that she was pressured to marry an Islamic State fighter who raped her on the age of 13.

“She was a few weeks away from 14,” Fluke-Ekren responded in protest, later saying, “It was her decision. I never forced her.”

Parekh described Fluke-Ekren as an “empress of ISIS” whose husbands rose to senior ranks within the Islamic State, typically to be killed in combating.

Even inside the Islamic State, individuals who knew Fluke-Ekren described her radicalization as “off the charts” and different terrorist teams refused her plans to kind a feminine battalion till she lastly discovered a taker within the Islamic State, Parekh stated.

Fluke-Ekren’s actions “added a new dimension to the darkest side of humanity,” Parekh stated.

In addition to forming the battalion, Fluke-Ekren admitted that whereas dwelling in Libya, she helped translate, evaluate and summarize paperwork taken from U.S. diplomatic amenities after the 2012 terrorist assault in Benghazi.

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