19-year-old Shannon Conley of Arvada, Colo., pleads guilty on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Appearing in federal court in a striped prison suit and brown-and-black headscarf, she declines to speak beyond acknowledging that she understands the plea and its consequences. Prosecutors promise to ask the judge for a lighter sentence if she cooperates. She faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. Her fiance, a man referred to in court documents as Y.M. who she believed was a Tunisian ISIS fighter, is a co-conspirator but is yet to be identified. A trained nurse’s aide, Conley was arrested at Denver airport in April while attempting to board a flight that authorities believed would take her to Syria via Turkey, to meet with her fiance and offer combat or medical support to ISIS. She is alleged to have sought U.S. military training in order gain combat skills that could be used to assist ISIS. to Justice Department statement:
The co-conspirator communicated to Conley that he was an active member of an al Qaeda affiliate fighting in Syria known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS). The two then decided to become engaged, and together, they worked to have Conley travel to Syria to join her new fiance. Before traveling to Syria, Conley refined and obtained additional training and skills in order to provide support and assistance to any al Qaeda and/or ISIS fighter. Conley also intended to fight if it became necessary to do so.