Colorado: No charges for 3 Muslim girls who tried to join ISIS and lied to officials

Poor Muslim girls are just the victims of an online predator. via 3 US girls who wanted to join ISIS victims of online predator, say officials.

DENVER: The case of three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State militants poses vexing questions for US officials about the use of social media by terror groups to recruit people inside the United States, experts said Wednesday.

A Colorado school official said the Denver area girls – two sisters ages 17 and 15, and a 16-year-old friend – were victims of an online predator who encouraged them to travel overseas and eventually to Syria.

Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, said the girls’ story so far suggests how Islamic extremists have mastered social media to prey on younger and younger women with “Disney-like versions of what it is like to live in the caliphate,” complete with promises of husbands and homes.

At least one of the girls was communicating with someone online who encouraged the three to travel to Syria, said Tustin Amole, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District where the girls attend high school.

Fellow high school students told school officials that the girls had been discussing travel plans over Twitter, Amole said.

The girls were detained at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, and sent home over the weekend. They were interviewed by the FBI and returned to their parents in suburban Aurora. Those in the tight-knit east African community where they live said the sisters are of Somali descent and their friend is of Sudanese descent.

“There’s no indication they had been radicalised in a way that they wanted to fight for ISIS,” Amole said.

A US official said evidence gathered so far made it clear that the girls were headed to Syria, though the official said investigators were still trying to determine what sort of contacts they had in that country. Another US official said that investigators were reviewing evidence, including the girls’ computers. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name.

“Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people,” said FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali community in the U.S. Authorities there have been concerned about terror recruiting of the young for years.

“What we’ve experienced here in Minneapolis is that young, disaffected youth who exist primarily on the fringes of society – they seem to be more susceptible to this type of propaganda, unfortunately,” Loven said.

Terror recruiting has been a problem for years in Minneapolis. Since 2007, roughly 22 young Somali-Americans have traveled to Somalia to take up arms with al-Shabab, an al-Qaida linked group. Those were all men.

Within the last year, a handful of people from the community left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria, and this time, there are fears that women might have been targeted. Loven said the FBI is working with the Somali community to establish trust and help identify young people at risk for radicalization.

In Colorado, Amole said the three teens had no prior problems at school, aside from unexcused absences on Friday.

Still unknown is how they managed to get to Frankfurt. [Did anyone ask them? Fact check their stories? Cameras abound.]

The US government doesn’t have any restrictions on children flying alone, domestically or internationally. Airline policies vary. Most US airlines allow children 12 and older to fly alone but often with restrictions on international flights, according to the US Transportation Department.

The girls’ parents reported them missing Friday after they skipped school. They had taken passports and $2,000 in cash from the sisters’ parents’ home.

At some point, the US informed German authorities at the airport about the girls arriving alone on their way to Turkey, German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters Wednesday. She said the three were detained by German police, with approval from a judge, and returned voluntarily to the US on Sunday. [So they skipped school and within hours these families were able to determine they were on their way to Germany, contact authorities, get a judge involved and alert German authorities? But they don't know how they got to the airport? Something is fishy here.]

Once home, the girls told a deputy they went to Germany for “family,” but wouldn’t elaborate. [And officials let them off the hook with that lie? No charges?]

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Denver would not say whether prosecutors plan to charge the girls with a crime. State prosecutors said they have no imminent plans to charge the girls. Amole said they will not face discipline

“Our biggest concern is for the safety and well-being of these girls,” Amole said.


Will the Obama administration charge them or are Somali and Sudanese Muslims exempt from federal laws now?

 

Iowa: Muslim fugitive sought by federal law enforcement

via Fugitives being sought by federal law enforcement | KIMT 3.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Federal authorities are asking for the public’s help in tracking down two fugitives.

33-year-old Mohammad Al Sharairei and 35-year-old Melissa Al Sharairei, also known as Melissa Schermerhorn, are charged with maintaining a premises for the distribution of controlled substance analogues, money laundering and conducting an illegal gambling business. According to court documents, the premises in question was the Puff N Stuff II store in Cedar Rapids. They were indicted in June 2014.

After officially expressing an intent to plead guilty, the married couple failed to appear for federal court in Cedar Rapids on October 20.  Federal warrants have now been issued for their arrest.

The Al Sharaireis were last known to live in Pueblo, Colorado.  Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is asked to call the United States Marshals Service at (319) 362-4411.

 More: Mohammad and Melissa Al Sharairei set to plead guilty

The couple is accused of submitting a cashier’s check for $96,186 to Midland Escrow, property derived from a specified unlawful activity — distribution of controlled substance analogues or synthetic drugs on May 30, 2013, according to the information filed Friday in U.S. District Court.

In the other count, the couple is accused of conducting, financing, managing and owning all or part of an illegal gambling business from Feb. 5 through September 2013, which involved video slot-type machines that are a violation of state law, according to the information. The business involved five or more people who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned all or part of the gambling operation.

There is also a forfeiture allegation for any property derived from and any proceeds obtained from operating the Puff N Stuff, according to the information. The property to be forfeited includes a money judgment of $425,000 and any proceeds or property from the couple’s business.

The Al Sharaireis previously lost four properties, one house in Cedar Rapids and three houses in Des Moines, two months ago in a default civil judgment. The civil forfeiture claimed the purchase of the real properties represent property traceable to the sale of controlled substance analogues, represent the proceeds of the sale of controlled substance analogues, facilitate the sale of controlled substance analogues and represents property involved in money laundering.

Denver: Three Somali, Sudanese Teen Girls Left U.S. to Join Muslim Terrorists

A video at the link says the Obama admin is “wrestling” with whether to charge the Muslim girls caught trying to join Muslim terrorists as terrorists.  via Three American Girls En Route to Syria Planned to Join Militant Groups, Official Says – ABC News.

The FBI has tracked down three American teenage girls in Germany while they were en route to Syria to join militant groups, a law enforcement official told ABC News today.

The girls have not been identified, but law enforcement officials said two are sisters — 15 and 17 years old — and one is 16 years old. The two sisters are from Somalia and the 16-year-old is from Sudan, according to a federal law enforcement source briefed on the case.

This is part of a worrisome trend of “disaffected youth” who are being radicalized, the official said, pointing to the wider phenomenon of foreign fighters converging on the conflict in the region.

There have been other cases of high school age kids trying to get to Syria that haven’t been made public, the official said.

The girls were persuaded to travel overseas and were in contact with someone in Germany, the official said, noting that someone close to them notified authorities.

They were turned around and sent back to the United States, the official said, noting that because they are minors it remains unclear whether they will be charged with anything or be “arrested.”

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado responded to a call on Oct. 17 of three missing teens, a department spokesman said, noting that deputies responded to two homes with Denver mailing addresses that are technically in unincorporated Arapahoe County. Family and friends reported the girls missing, but nobody mentioned or knew that the girls had gone overseas, according to the sheriff’s department. The case was closed when a family member called Monday to tell the sheriff’s department that the girls were back safe in Colorado, a spokesman said.

“FBI Denver Division is aware of the situation and assisted with bringing the individuals back to Denver. The juveniles are safe and reunited with their families,” FBI Denver spokeswoman Sue Payne said.

How about immigration charges too? Is it not a crime to lie about intended destinations and purpose? Who bought the tickets? Who paid for them? Will the FBI dare investigate the mosques the girls attended? 

 

Colorado: City changing pool rules for fully clad Muslim woman

They are smoking the good stuff in Commerce City.

via Muslim woman barred from Colorado pool over dress | Fox News.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – A Colorado city is promising to revise its swimsuit rules after a Muslim woman was turned away from its recreation center pool for wearing an Islamic dress over a shirt and pants.

Saba Ali told KMGH-TV that she offered to just wear the shirt and pants to swim on Sunday but was denied.

Commerce City spokeswoman Michelle Halsted says street clothes aren’t allowed in the pool because they can increase the likelihood of contamination and waterborne illness.

She says full body swimsuits and rash guards used by surfers and scuba divers are allowed. The city will update its swimwear brochure to include burkinis– loose fitting full-body swimsuits with a hood made for Islamic women.

 And they’ll be sued when this broad or someone like her drowns.

Colorado: American convert to Islam, and still Muslim, pleads guilty to ISIS support

Shannon Conley during US Army Explorer training (Facebook)

Shannon “Halima” Conley during US Army Explorer training (Facebook)

via KYTX CBS 19.

Shannon Maureen Conley’s plan to join ISIS and serve as a nurse at a jihadist camp ended Wednesday with a guilty plea to a terror charge in a Colorado federal court.

Conley, 19, was arrested at Denver International Airport in April as she was about to embark on a journey to Germany and eventually to an ISIS camp near the Turkish border. She told investigators that she was going to Turkey to await word from her suitor, identified in court documents as Yousr Mouelhi, an ISIS member she met on the Internet, whom she planned to marry.

Conley, a convert to Islam who wore a blue and white striped jail uniform and a traditional Muslim headscarf, appeared before a federal judge Wednesday and pleaded guilty to charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

A certified nurse aide, Conley faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore set sentencing for January 23 and ordered that she have a psychiatric evaluation.

As part of the plea agreement, Conley must provide law enforcement agencies with information about others looking to help terrorist organizations abroad.

In a statement after the plea, Conley’s federal defender Robert Pepin referred to his client as Halima Shannon Conley.

“She’s also a 19-year-old woman of faith who was pursuing her faith and, unfortunately, as she pursued it she was led terribly astray,” the statement said. “That, in turn, led her to make some poor choices and she is now paying the price of those choices.”

She insisted on keeping her Muslim name, wearing a head covering and remaining a Muslim. The only remorse she has is getting caught.

Since her arrest, Pepin said, “the news out of the part of the world to which she was headed has been just awful.”

“Like all of us, Halima has been horrified to learn of the slaughter and oppression at the hands of the people controlling ISIS,” Pepin said in the statement.

Slick statement. The “people controlling ISIS”? So it’s not ISIS’ fault it’s whoever controls ISIS?

“It was never her vision to have any role in any of that. She would like everyone to know that her heart … and her prayers go out to … the families of those who have been killed, and to anyone who has been oppressed by those forces. Finally, Halima is fully aware that the fact that she was arrested may have very well saved her.”

What about the kafirs she cursed? No apology to them?

In Colorado, Conley allegedly told FBI agents that she was going to be with a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, that she had met online.

She told federal agents she had read a book called “Al-Qaida’s Doctrine for Insurgency” and intended to wage jihad against the United States, according to the criminal complaint.

When she was arrested, Conley had in her possession certification papers for first aid and nursing, the U.S. Army Explorers and the National Rifle Association, according to court documents.

“It’s a difficult time for us,” her mother, Ana Conley, told CNN last month, when court documents in the case were unsealed.

According to court papers, Conley’s parents were aware she had converted to Islam, but did not know about her interest in violent jihad. Her father, John, reportedly caught Shannon talking to her suitor, described as a 32-year-old Tunisian man, on Skype.

The couple asked for the father’s blessing and he refused, the court papers said. On April 1, John called FBI to report he had found plane ticket for later that month to Turkey.

Her daughter was arrested on a jetway while trying to board a flight to Germany on April 8, according to a criminal complaint.

Conley first came to the attention of authorities after the pastor and the security director at a church in Arvada, Colorado, called police and said she was acting suspiciously. Authorities interviewed her seven times over the course of five months before arresting her at the airport.

“I think she realizes she made a terrible mistake,” her mother told CNN. “She was clueless. She’s just a teenager, young, with a big mouth.”

 Her mistake was converting to Islam, and she has not fixed that mistake so clearly she hasn’t realized a thing. More:

During interviews with FBI agents in November, Conley, who had received military training in a Texas camp run by the US Army Explorer, said she hated members of the Faith Bible Chapel and disliked their support for Israel and Israel itself.

In her war against “kafir” (a derogatory term for non-Muslims), she felt it was acceptable to harm innocents if they are part of a target. Despite repeated FBI warnings, the woman refused to back down and was arrested on 8 April as she attempted to board a Turkey-bound plane to join and marry a 32-year-old Tunisian man who was waging jihad in Syria. She met the man on Skype.

In her house, agents found several DVDs of a senior al-Qaida leader named Anwar al-Awlaki, who acted also as recruiter for the Islamist group. He was killed in Yemen by a Cia-led US drone.

Denver: Muslim woman who wanted to wage jihad with ISIS to plead guilty

An update on this previous post

 

on right

via The Pueblo Chieftain | Terrorism suspect to plead.

DENVER — A 19-year-old suburban Denver woman accused of trying to help a foreign terrorist organization plans to plead guilty in the case.

Federal documents filed Friday say an agreement has been reached in the case against Shannon Conley of Arvada. She was arrested at Denver International Airport in April while boarding a flight she hoped would ultimately get her to Syria.

Details of the agreement weren’t part of the court filing, but Conley’s public defender Robert Pepin asked to schedule a change of plea hearing. FBI agents say Conley was intent on waging jihad in the Middle East, despite their overt efforts to stop her.

Authorities say she wanted to live with a suitor she met online, who claimed to be fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

 

Global Mosque Report (USA): May 2014

A new series over at Gates of Vienna. Each report is significantly longer than what is below covering all countries, however we’ve excerpted only the activity in the United States.

seattle-mosques

Seattle area mosques

Global Mosque Report: February 2014

This is the latest in a series of monthly reports by our British correspondent JP on the progress of worldwide Islamization, as represented by the building of mosques, and activities associated with mosques.

USA

California

Report on the $1.8 million, 18,000-square-foot, two-storey Islamic centre and mosque complete with minarets being erected in West Modesto.

Colorado

The Islamic Center of Fort Collins will host an open day on 1 March at its new mosque which features a 70-foot minaret and 50-foot dome, both topped with crescent moons.

Idaho

A variance request hearing ostensibly to focus on parking and public safety concerns over a proposed mosque in Pocatello was instead dominated by discussion of religious freedom and fear of Islam.

New Jersey

Traffic concerns of fire officials over the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s Liberty Corner mosque proposal were considered by Bernards Township planning board, but deemed legally irrelevant.

At a Bridgewater planning board, Yassir Abdelkader, president of the Al Fatah Center, spoke on behalf of his proposal to convert the former Redwood Inn into a mosque. He assured residents that there would be no services outside the mosque and no calls to prayer from the proposed mosque’s minaret.

Tennessee

Report that the lawsuit arising over Murfreesboro mosque approval has already cost Rutherford County $343,276, and the amount is expected to rise.

Global Mosque Report: March 2014

USA

Arkansas

In Lincoln a group of young Bosnian and Middle Eastern immigrants raised nearly $200,000 to purchase a long-empty church and convert it into a mosque.

California

Jamaal Diwan, imam at the Islamic Center of Irvine, interviewed by Orange County Weekly. A convert, his love of basketball and hip-hop led him to Islam.

Michigan

‘Questions about Islam’ event held at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center. “The main goal is to achieve a sense of understanding between those who practice Islam and those who do not,” said Farhan Igbal, a student at Western Michigan University.

New Jersey

Bernards Township: Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s Liberty Corner mosque proposal met opposition from neighbours concerned about lights, noise, and traffic. Further hearings scheduled to take place in April and May.

Burlington County Muslim Association proposed a 22,745-square-foot building to house a mosque, elementary school, and day care center in Delanco.

United American Muslim Association Inc. filed an application to convert one of Clifton’s oldest buildings, erected in 1740, and latterly a funeral parlour, into a mosque.

New York State

North Side Learning Center purchased Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church in Syracuse for conversion into a mosque to be named ‘Mosque of Jesus the Son of Mary’ (Masjit Isa Ibn Maryam). A petition was lodged with the Landmark Preservation Board to remove crosses from the steeples and grounds as these are not in line with the ‘worshipping practices’ of the new tenants.

Ohio

Shakila Ahmad became the first woman president of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati in its eighteen-year history. The mosque sees up to 3,000 Muslims involved on holy days, and there are an estimated 25,000 Muslims in the region.

Tennessee

Memphis Islamic Center to launch the first of three phases required for the construction of a $6.5 million, 63,144-square-foot rabat in Shelby County this summer. In October 2012, World Relief Nashville/Memphis was awarded a Preferred Communities grant by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Virginia

State delegate Alfonso H. Lopez defended his praise of Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church after being rebuked by counter-terrorism officials and media for sponsoring a successful resolution at Virginia’s General Assembly commending the center.

Global Mosque Report: April 2014

USA

New York State

Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board voted to approve a request by an Islamic group called the Northside Learning Center to remove crosses from the Holy Trinity Catholic Church. The group plans to turn the former church into a mosque.

Tennessee

All of Rutherford County’s Circuit Court judges eligible to hear the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro cemetery lawsuit recused themselves, according to court records.

Washington

Redmond residents concerned over plans for the proposed two-storey, 22,467 square feet Anjuman-e-Burhani Mosque.

Global Mosque Report: May 2014

USA

 Iowa

One of the founding members of the Clinton Islamic Center, Dr. Anis Ansari, elected president for the fourth time in the past twelve years.

New Jersey

Bridgewater residents jeered and disputed traffic expert testimony that suggested the proposed Al Falah Center mosque development would not have a negative impact on local traffic. The next planning board meeting at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School is scheduled for 30 June.

New York State

Report on plans by the Islamic Society of Central New York to build a $1 million mosque-community center on land it owns on East Seneca Turnpike in the town of Onondaga. “Our numbers are growing — we need more space,” said society President Mohamed Khater.

Oklahoma

A federal appeals court ruled that a Christian police captain from Tulsa was rightfully punished for refusing to enter a mosque for a police appreciation ceremony.

South Carolina

The Islamic Center of Columbia, also known as Masjid al-Muslimiin, held a ‘Share Islam Day’ for those interested in the area’s diverse spirituality.

Tennessee

Senior Judge Paul Summers of Davidson County appointed to hear a case over a county-approved cemetery at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after all other judges in Rutherford County recused themselves from the matter.

Washington

Redmond residents concerned over plans for the proposed two-storey, 22,467 square feet Anjuman-e-Burhani Mosque on empty land near Microsoft Corporation’s headquarters.

 

JP at Gates of Vienna and all our readers can also refer to our “mosque” category to see all posts about mosque activity.

 

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