Mom From Kansas Turned ISIS Leader Pleads Guilty
Mom From Kansas Turned ISIS Leader Pleads Guilty
The story of Allison Fluke-Ekren, the Kansas mom who became an ISIS battalion leader, is long and convoluted.
The short version – our previous coverage about Fluke-Ekren can be read here – is that Fluke-Ekren, a mom of five in Kansas, converted to Islam and became radicalized after her marriage to her second husband. While little is known about her life before husband number two, some details are now coming to light about how she became a radical.
A teenage mother from Overbrook, Kan., Ms. Fluke-Ekren slowly embraced the Islamic State’s ideology and had a knack for languages, according to Amy Farouk, a former friend.”
“It was a way for her to feel important,” Ms. Farouk said. “It made her have a sense of purpose.”
Efforts to reach Ms. Fluke-Ekren’s family in Kansas were unsuccessful. But Ms. Farouk, who said she met Ms. Fluke-Ekren in about 2001, filled out portions of her life. At the time, Ms. Fluke-Ekren was a teacher at the Islamic School of Greater Kansas City.”
After Ms. Fluke-Ekren had two children and her first marriage in Kansas fell apart, she met an international student from Turkey, Volkan Ekren, at the University of Kansas, where both majored in the sciences, Ms. Farouk said. Ms. Fluke-Ekren graduated in 2007 and then attended a teaching program at Earlham College in Indiana, prosecutors said.”
The two eventually married and had five children together, all of whom were born in the United States.”
The family eventually moved abroad – first to Cairo (where she kept a family blog until 2010), then to Libya, where the Department of Justice now reveals that this mom and her family were just hanging out in BENGHAZI on September 11, 2012.
Near the end of 2011, Fluke-Ekren resided with her second husband, among others, in Benghazi, Libya. In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Fluke-Ekren’s second husband claimed that he removed at least one box of documents and at least one electronic device from the U.S. compound in Benghazi. He brought the items to the residence where he resided with Fluke-Ekren and others at that time. Fluke-Ekren assisted her second husband with reviewing and summarizing the contents of the stolen U.S. government documents. The stolen documents and electronic device, along with the summaries that Fluke-Ekren helped prepare, were provided to the leadership of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi.”
Allison Fluke-Ekren was not just some innocent mom in thrall to her husband. Nope, she was neck-deep in everything that happened. After Libya, the family moved on to Syria, where eventually her husband was killed. But like any good ISIS mom, she simply married another terrorist. And after that one was killed, she married another one.
Shortly after, the couple traveled to Syria, but Ms. Fluke-Ekren returned to Turkey while Mr. Ekren stayed and later oversaw Islamic State snipers. She joined him in Syria in 2014, but the next year, they moved to Mosul, Iraq, where she helped ISIS in handling widows whose husbands had died fighting.”
The family returned to Syria, and Mr. Ekren was killed in an airstrike as he was conducting reconnaissance for a terrorist attack, prosecutors said.”
Prosecutors said Ms. Fluke-Ekren married another Islamic State terrorist, a Bangladeshi man who specialized in drones and worked on a plan to drop chemical bombs using them. After the man, Wamiq al-Bengali, died, Ms. Fluke-Ekren married another Bangladeshi man, an Islamic State military leader who was responsible for defending Raqqa, Syria. He died while fighting for ISIS in 2018.”
My my, she doesn’t have good luck with husbands, does she? Fluke-Ekren married a fifth husband, but they apparently separated before her arrest. And while her husbands were all busy getting themselves killed for the glory of ISIS, she was busy training women to fight for the Islamic State.
In or around mid-2016, Fluke-Ekren led and organized an effort to establish a Women’s Center in Raqqa, Syria. Fluke-Ekren obtained authorization from the “Wali”, the ISIS-appointed mayor of Raqqa, in order to establish the center. There, Fluke-Ekren and others provided medical services, educational services about the Islamic State, childcare, and various training to women and young girls. As the center’s leader, Fluke-Ekren also provided and assisted other female ISIS members in providing training to numerous women and young girls on the use of automatic firing AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and explosive suicide belts.”
She also expressed a desire to hit the United States in a terror attack, specifically “an attack involving the use of explosives on the campus of a U.S.-based college in the Midwest” according to the DOJ. Lovely.
Fluke-Ekren was captured in Syria and brought to Virginia to stand trial. The mom turned terrorist has officially pleaded guilty to one (ONE??) count of “conspiring to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization” and will be sentenced in October.
We now also know the fates of Fluke-Ekren’s children – most of them made it back to the United States.
(First Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj) Parekh said that Ms. Fluke-Ekren had left a “trail of betrayal” and that her family members might want to make victim statements when she is sentenced in October. She faces up to 20 years in prison.”
When Judge Leonie M. Brinkema mentioned her children, Ms. Fluke-Ekren became visibly upset and began to weep.”
Ms. Fluke-Ekren has at least seven children, including five with Mr. Ekren. Federal authorities brought back six of them to the United States, people familiar with the matter said. At least one child, a son she had with her second husband, was killed in an airstrike in Syria. Her oldest son, who had lived with her in Cairo, returned to Kansas before Ms. Fluke-Ekren went to Libya.”
If the media reports and her own blog are correct, then two of Fluke-Ekren’s children were born after March 5, 2010, when her fifth child was born in Kansas. The youngest two, therefore, must have been born outside the United States. The oldest of her sons with Ekren finished kindergarten in 2010, per her own blog, and couldn’t be more than 17 or 18 now, if he is actually still alive. The baby born in Kansas in 2010 is now twelve, and there were two older daughters as well, who are legal adults by this time. During her career in terrorism, she certainly inflicted a lot of damage on her children with her own actions, and one of them is dead as a result. It seems nothing short of a miracle, if the report from the New York Times are accurate, that the girls weren’t “married” off to good ISIS fighters themselves and started producing more babies for the Islamic State. Then again, who knows what condition those two young women are in right now.
Will Allison Fluke-Ekren get 20 years in federal prison? She certainly deserves it, especially after that little bit of information about Benghazi was just so casually dropped into the DOJ’s press release. But the real issue, as I said before, isn’t the length of time she spends in prison. This “Kansas mom” is only 42 years old now. If she gets a full 20 years, she will be 62 when she’s released. What happens to her then? There are no guarantees that Fluke-Ekren will “rehabilitate” in prison. Will Guantanamo Bay still be an option in 20 years?
Featured image: composite photo from the published pictures on Allison Fluke-Ekren’s personal blog