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HomeU.S.AHow US-born Allison Fluke-Ekren went from science instructor to ISIS radical

How US-born Allison Fluke-Ekren went from science instructor to ISIS radical


As preventing raged within the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa within the fall of 2017 and the terrorists ordered girls to take up arms to defend the caliphate, a Kansas-born middle-school science instructor was among the many first to volunteer, instructing her pupils in find out how to put together a “go-bag” with weapons and different provides for struggle, based on a federal prison indictment unsealed final month.

As a high-ranking member of ISIS, who skilled in Egypt, Libya and Iraq earlier than heading to Syria in 2012, Allison Fluke-Ekren deliberate to detonate explosives at an unidentified US faculty campus and “fantasized” about bombing a shopping center, based on court docket information.

“Fluke-Ekren believed a location was an excellent goal if it contained massive quantities of congregating individuals,” the indictment says. “She thought-about any assault that didn’t kill numerous people to be a waste of sources.”

The 42-year-old’s devotion to the terrorist trigger was “off the charts,” based on a cooperating witness interviewed by the FBI. She spoke Arabic, Turkish and Spanish, and ever the instructor, was answerable for administering exams to new ISIS recruits to gauge their degree of devotion to Sharia legislation, authorities mentioned. She additionally translated speeches and articles from ISIS leaders into English. On a scale of 1 to 10, her radicalization and devotion to ISIS was thought-about “11 or 12,” the witness mentioned.

“I’m nonetheless in shock,” mentioned Larry Miller, a retired instructor and beginner photographer who taught Fluke-Ekren science at Topeka Collegiate College within the Kansas capital the place she grew up. “I can solely suppose she was brainwashed in a manner that I simply can’t think about.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, Fluke-Ekren’s radicalization was at an “11 or 12,” based on a cooperating witness interviewed by the FBI.
4kansaskids.blogspot.com

Rising up in Topeka, Fluke-Ekren was often known as Allison Elizabeth Brooks. Her father, Mark Brooks, is a Vietnam veteran and member of an area gardening membership, based on public and on-line information. However little is thought about her household, together with a number of grownup youngsters who instructed authorities they needed nothing to do with Fluke-Ekren after her arrest in Syria final month, based on court docket papers. Miller instructed The Submit her household is “in shock” and mentioned he’s respecting their need to stay personal, and refused to supply any particulars about them.

“Her mother and father are regular, the household had a canine,” mentioned Miller, including that he knew she had transformed to Islam as an grownup, “however she by no means gave me a speech about it.”

Allison grew up in Topeka, Kansas. Her former teacher Larry Miller took this photo of her smiling under a waterfall on a summertime field trip.
Allison grew up in Topeka, Kansas. Her former instructor Larry Miller took this photograph of her smiling beneath a waterfall on a summertime area journey.

Miller mentioned he final noticed his former pupil — “a wonderful pupil” — in 2004 when she requested him to {photograph} her marriage ceremony and reception at an area Methodist church. She married James Fluke, based on public information, and first modified her title to Allison Fluke.

As a young person, she usually accompanied Miller and his spouse Suzanne, a former librarian who died in March 2020, on nature walks to {photograph} native wildlife. Fluke-Ekren was notably fascinated with reptiles and in addition helped throughout class area journeys, he mentioned. Miller offered The Submit with {a photograph} he took of Fluke-Ekren on a summertime area journey to {photograph} wildlife. The image reveals his pupil smiling by way of her braces and cooling off beneath a waterfall. One other photograph reveals an older, extra contemplative younger girl sitting in a area with flowers tucked behind her ear.

Miller took this photo of Fluke-Ekren when she was in her 20s. He also photographed her first wedding. "I am still in shock," he told The Post.
Miller took this photograph of Fluke-Ekren when she was in her 20s. He additionally photographed her first marriage ceremony. “I’m nonetheless in shock,” he instructed The Submit.

Just a few years later, Fluke-Ekren reached out to her former instructor asking about educating alternatives at an area center college. She had accomplished levels in biology and educating, and was desperate to get a job, he instructed The Submit.

Though she obtained the job, she abruptly moved along with her new husband, Volkan Ekren, and her 4 youngsters to Egypt in 2008, posting images of the smiling household on the pyramids in a weblog to replace her Kansas household. “Howdy everybody,” reads the chatty message, above a photograph that reveals each Fluke-Elkren and one in all her daughters in hijabs, masking their hair. “Properly, we’re now technically linked up with web and a digital camera, so I can maintain everybody up to date with this weblog.” Little is thought about Volkan Ekren, who Miller mentioned could have come from Turkey. Surprisingly, Ekren reveals up as Volkan Allison Ekren in public information within the US that date again to 2002.

Fluke-Ekren obtained a job as a middle-school instructor within the US however as a substitute went to Egypt along with her household in 2008.

Images from Fluke-Ekren’s weblog present her household having fun with life in Egypt earlier than they moved to Syria.

The longer term terrorist arrange a weblog to maintain her household again in Kansas up to date on her adventures in Egypt.

Fluke-Ekren returned to Kansas in April 2010 for the beginning of her fifth youngster, Zaid, who was born in Wichita. “All by way of the labor I hoped that it might take lengthy sufficient for Volkan to reach and it did,” she mentioned. “Volkan got here into the hospital like a knight in shining armor about 11:30 pm, and Zaid arrived at 1:45. I believe I used to be a little bit too grumpy and in ache to indicate him how a lot I appreciated his being there.” Fluke-Ekren additionally thanked her mom and “pricey pal” Heather for being by her facet in the course of the beginning.

However Fluke-Ekren was residing a double life that her household probably knew nothing about. She was criss-crossing the Center East, touring to Libya and Iraq the place she and her husband — a talented sniper — have been more and more concerned in terrorist actions, based on court docket papers. (Fluke-Ekren appeared in an Alexandria, Va., federal courtroom Thursday afternoon.)

Fluke-Ekren became the leader of the all-female Khatiba Nusaybah, training female recruits to become guerrilla fighters, officials said.
Fluke-Ekren grew to become the chief of the all-female Khatiba Nusaybah, coaching feminine recruits to turn into guerrilla fighters, officers mentioned.
4kansaskids.blogspot.com

4 years after Zaid’s beginning, the household established itself in Syria though a witness instructed the FBI that they have been “smuggled into Syria” in 2012 after spending a yr in Libya as a result of Ansar al-Sharia, a bunch affiliated with al Qaeda terrorists within the nation, was now not conducting assaults there.

Fluke-Ekren settled first in Al-Bab, an ISIS stronghold in northern Syria. However when bombings grew to become too frequent, the household moved, finally settling in Raqqa the place Fluke-Ekren grew to become often known as Umm Mohammed al-Amriki. She grew to become the chief of the all-female Khatiba Nusaybah, coaching feminine recruits to turn into guerrilla fighters who might sneak into enemy territory and detonate grenades and suicide belts after they ran out of ammunition for his or her AK-47s, court docket information say.

Fluke-Ekren's daughter was interviewed by a CBS correspondent in October. Dressed in a black burka, she said she was six months pregnant.
Fluke-Ekren’s daughter was interviewed by a CBS correspondent in October. Wearing a black burka, she mentioned she was six months pregnant.

Those that knew Fluke-Ekren instructed US authorities that they not often noticed her with out her submachine gun strapped to her shoulder. One witness even described seeing Fluke-Ekren’s five-year-old son wielding an AK-47 on the household residence in Syria.

“I by no means as soon as noticed something that might lead me to consider that she was a violent individual,” Miller instructed The Submit. “I’m nonetheless in shock, and simply wish to know what occurred in her life to vary her a lot.”

After her sniper husband was killed in an airstrike in 2016, Fluke-Ekren married a Bangladeshi member of ISIS who was experimenting with attaching chemical weapons to drones, based on the indictment. Shortly after his demise, she married a fourth time — to “a distinguished ISIS navy chief who has been chargeable for ISIS’s protection of Raqqa,” based on court docket papers. A witness mentioned she took in at the very least one youngster whose mother and father had died whereas collaborating in a suicide bombing in Syria.

After her husband died in a drone strike, Fluke-Ekren married a Bangladeshi member of ISIS who was experimenting with attaching chemical weapons to drones, according to an indictment.
After her husband died in a drone strike, Fluke-Ekren married a Bangladeshi member of ISIS who was experimenting with attaching chemical weapons to drones, based on an indictment.
4kansaskids.blogspot.com

As Raqqa fell to US-led forces within the fall of 2017, Fluke-Ekren disappeared, however one in all her daughters was captured. The unidentified 15-year-old was interviewed by a CBS correspondent in October. She was wearing a black burka, and was six months pregnant, she mentioned. She mentioned she grew up in Kansas and that her father had smuggled the household towards her will to Syria in 2012. “My father, after all, didn’t inform us we have been coming to Syria when it got here time to get out of the automotive and cross the border,” she mentioned. “It was a very huge shock.”

The lady, who described herself as a prisoner of ISIS, instructed the reporter that she was looking for her mom.

“Hello mother, in the event you see this video, please contact me,” she mentioned.

In photos Fluke-Ekren appears to be a normal mother, surrounded by happy children. But she was living a dangerous double life, officials said.
In images Fluke-Ekren seems to be a standard mom, surrounded by glad youngsters. However she was residing a harmful double life, officers mentioned.
4kansaskids.blogspot.com

A CBS producer who had labored on the story contacted Miller as a substitute. The producer reached out through Fb and recognized the younger girl because the daughter of Allison Fluke-Ekren, based on digital correspondence considered by The Submit. The lady had “suffered nice trauma by the hands of ISIS,” the producer mentioned in his message to Miller. The producer needed to know if Miller knew something about Fluke-Ekren’s whereabouts

Within the video, the lady describes graphic scenes of struggle — “an individual’s intestines on the road. There’s a head lower off from the shrapnel. There’s a leg,” she mentioned.

An ISIS fighter waves a flag for the caliphate in Raqqa, Syria, in 2015. Two years later, as Raqqa fell to US forces, Fluke-Ekren is said to have fled the city.
An ISIS fighter waves a flag for the caliphate in Raqqa, Syria, in 2015. Two years later, as Raqqa fell to US forces, Fluke-Ekren is claimed to have fled town.
Common Photographs Group through Getty Photographs

It’s not clear what occurred to the daughter, however the indictment cites a cooperating witness, often known as “CW-3,” who “is one in all Fluke-Ekren’s relations” and was current with Fluke-Ekren at “varied instances” in ISIS-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria. That witness described Fluke-Ekren’s need to conduct an assault on a US shopping center. “CW-3 acknowledged that Fluke-Ekren didn’t pursue such an assault as a result of her now-deceased husband objected.” In a footnote, the Division of Justice famous that the US authorities had offered the witness with “sure logistical advantages” in trade for the testimony.

Fluke-Ekren appeared in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday afternoon.
Fluke-Ekren appeared in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday afternoon.
Samuel Corum

Though the indictment outlines Fluke-Ekren’s dedication to radical Islam, it doesn’t provide explanations as to how she grew to become radicalized within the first place — a thought that has obsessed Miller since he first heard about her arrest final month.

“One thing occurred,” mentioned Miller, who misplaced communication along with her in 2009. “I don’t know what occurred however one thing occurred.”



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