United States

Philadelphia Mother Accused of Trying to Martyr Self for ISIS Faces Up to 15 Years in Federal Prison

Federal prosecutors charged a Philadelphia mother, who went by names including "YoungLioness" and "Fatayat Al Khilafah," after she allegedly tried to become a martyr for the Islamic State.

Keonna Thomas faces charges of knowingly and intentionally attempting to provide material support and resources, including herself as personnel, to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a federal indictment revealed Thursday.

The 30-year-old mom has remained jailed since her arrest earlier this month after judge ruled she is a flight risk and a threat to the community.

If she is found guilty she could spend 15 years in prison, said prosecutors.

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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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