SCHILLER PARK, Ill. (WLS) –Invoking an unusual defense, the I-Team has learned that a west suburban woman and five associates accused of aiding ISIS say they were engaged in “legitimate warfare.”
Mediha Medy Salkicevic, a mother of four from Schiller Park, was arrested in February 2015 on charges of conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists and providing material support to terrorists, including the Islamic State and al-Qaida in Iraq.
Investigators say Salkicevic, a Bosnian Muslim refugee, wanted to “bury unbelievers alive” and bring death to infidels.
When she was arrested the I-Team reported that Salkicevic, 37, was working at an O’Hare airport cargo company. She is still being held without bond.
On Friday attorneys for Salkicevic and the others filed a motion to dismiss two charges: conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists. The defendants are claiming that they were engaged in a legitimate war and providing aid to forces opposing Syrian strongman Bashar al Assad-just as the U.S. has done.
Their argument is that “under United States law, acts of legitimate warfare during a civil war are not murder and are entitled to combatant immunity.” They say that Americans are “protected from prosecution as acts of legitimate warfare under the doctrine of combatant immunity.”
The Schiller Park woman, a Bosnian refugee, and her alleged co-conspirators are accused of funneling military gear and money to fellow Bosnian national Abdullah Ramo Pazara. Investigators say Pazara is an ISIS leader in Syria, although there have been recent reports he was killed. Pazara, a U.S. citizen, is said to have facilitated money transfers between American supporters and jihadist organizations in Middle East.
Pazara’s organization allegedly received U.S. military uniforms, tactical clothes and gear, combat boots, military surplus supplies and other items in August 2013 and distributed them to foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria.
Salkicevic, aka Medy Ummuluna and Bosna Mexico, knew that Pazara egaged in acts of violence with terrorism groups according to federal prosecutors. In attempting to prove that the accused terrorists were legitimate combatants, defense attorneys Friday included numerous photos in their motion of Pazara with military weaponry, strapped with bandoliers of ammo.
It’s not an unusual defense in Islam. Salkicevic was arrested with five other Bosnian Muslim refugees on terror charges.