17 Women In The US Have Been Linked To ISIS Or Al-Qaeda Since Last Year
At least 17 women living in the U.S. have been linked to major terrorist groups since last year, including Tashfeed Malik, the 29-year-old ISIS supporter who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week.
Malik reportedly pled her allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi just before she and her husband, Syed Farook began shooting people attending a holiday party at Inland Regional Center on Wednesday. Investigators are reportedly considering whether the Pakistani citizen radicalized Farook, with whom she had a six-month old daughter.
While the attack makes Malik the most prolific female jihadi in U.S. history, she’s far from the only one to try her hand at terror. Oren Segal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism and Research, provided a list of 16 other women who have aided and abetted ISIS and other violent terrorist groups.
Jaelyn De’Shaun Young, 20, and her husband were arrested in August for providing material support to ISIS. The newlyweds had planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS, investigators said. Young is believed to have been the mastermind behind the plot.
Keonna Thomas, a 30-year-old Philadelphia native, was arrested in April after she hatched a plan to travel to Syria through Spain in order to join ISIS. The unemployed mother of two had been in contact with an ISIS fighter, to whom she reportedly claimed she wanted to martyr herself.
Asia Siddiqui, 31, and Noelle Valentzas, 28, were arrested in April after FBI investigators uncovered their plot to set off explosives in New York City. The two friends, who lived in Queens, planned to use pressure cookers like the ones that were used in the 2013 Boston marathon attacks. Valentzas was associated with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), an Islamic umbrella organization based in New York City. (RELATED: Shooter’s Mother Active In US Branch Of Pro-Caliphate Islamic Group)
Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, was arrested along with her husband, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, in St. Louis County, Mo. in February after authorities said the Bosnian immigrants sent money to ISIS and Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliated group.
The Hodzics were indicted along with Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, and Jasminka Ramic, 42, two other Bosnian immigrants living outside of Chicago. Both women allegedly sent military goods to ISIS fighters in Syria.
Muna Jama, 34, and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 44, were arrested in July and charged with 20 counts of providing material support to al-Shabab. The women started sending money to fighters with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Feb. 2011, the government has claimed.
In April 2014, Shannon Conley, then 19, was arrested at the Denver International Airport as she was set to board a flight en route to Syria. There, she planned to join a 32-year-old ISIS fighter she had met online. Conley was sentenced to four years in prison in January.
In Nov. 2014, 29-year-old Virginia native Heather Coffman was arrested and charged with making false statements to FBI agents about pro-ISIS Facebook posts and conversations she had about the terrorist group. Coffman pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison in May.
In April, it was reported that Hoda Muthana, a 20-year-old college student in Alabama, had flown to Syria to join ISIS. Muthana reportedly tricked her father into letting her go to Atlanta. There, she flew to Syria.
And last October, three teenage girls living in Denver — ages 17, 15, and 15 — were apprehended in Germany while trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS. Two of the girls were of Somali descent. Another was of Sudanese descent. They were returned to their families in the U.S.
Another woman could soon be added to the list. Attorney General Loretta Lynch indicated on Sunday that investigators are looking into Farook’s mother, Rafia Farook. Investigators discovered 15 pipe bombs and other weaponry in the Redlands, Cal. house that Rafia Farook lived in with her son and daughter-in-law. (RELATED: Loretta Lynch Says FBI Is Looking At Mother Of San Bernardino Gunman)