Judge Orders Philadelphia Mom Accused of Trying to Join ISIS to Remain Behind Bars

The North Philadelphia woman arrested and charged with trying to help ISIS will be staying put in a federal lockup. A judge denied Keonna Thomas bid to be released on bail. NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal was in the courtroom. (Published Thursday, April 9, 2015)

A judge has ordered a Philadelphia woman jailed pending trial on charges she tried to join and martyr herself for the Islamic State group.

The judge's ruling came after prosecutors argued at a detention hearing Thursday that 30-year-old Keonna Thomas is a flight risk and a threat to the community.

Authorities say Keonna Thomas' use of social media is what led them to make the arrest. Police say she planned to link up with terrorists in Syria. NBC10's George Spencer has a closer look at the woman accused in the case. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

Thomas has been in custody since her arrest on Friday. Prosecutors said the unemployed mother of two young daughters made arrangements to fly to Spain last month with hopes of reaching Syria to fight with the terror group.

Thomas, also known as Fatayat Al Khilafah and YoungLioness on social media, began communicating with a man who identified himself as a violent jihadi fighter in December of 2013, according to a criminal complaint. She talked with him about donating money "to the ISIS brothers" and traveling to get more money. Posts from her Twitter accounts also included statements about dying for the cause.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Willis said Thomas would've boarded the flight had federal agents not served a search warrant on her home days earlier.

Defense attorneys argued Thomas should have been sent home with a GPS tracking device.

A Philadelphia mother has been accused of trying to join ISIS, adding to the many recent cases around the country. NBC News Justice Department Correspondent Pete Williams provides insight into the issue. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)