Shannon Conley (19) of Denver, Colorado pleaded guilty to charges that she sought to aid militant jihadist outfit Islamic State (IS), about five months after U.S. authorities stopped her before she boarded a flight en route to Syria.
Her arrest on April 8 at Denver International Airport had come after authorities were tipped off by the woman’s parents, who feared that she had grown increasingly radicalized. On Wednesday she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation.
According to reports, Conley converted to Islam around 2012 after she told her parents that she had met a 32-year-old Tunisian man via the Internet, who promised her marriage.
Wanted to join jihad
She also mentioned plans to join him and other Islamic militants in Syria in a “holy war against non-believers.”
Officials said she was determined to help the IS, though Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents had repeatedly tried to discourage her and asked the trained nurse’s aide to consider humanitarian work instead.
Though she has struck a plea bargain to help authorities find others like her, she could face up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.