Heather Coffman, Alleged ISIS Recruiter, Had Pro-Islamic State Facebook Posts

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
November 18, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Heather Elizabeth Coffman is the Virginia woman who has been accused of offering to recruit for the ISIS terrorist organization.

Coffman, 29, has been charged with making a false statement regarding an offense involving international or domestic terrorism.

Authorities found evidence on Coffman’s Facebook, which was filled with posts supportive of the Islamic State.

Coffman also offered to help someone get connected with the group, meeting with him three times.

But that person was actually an undercover FBI agent, according to a federal affidavit obtained by the Washington Post.

Coffman told the agent that she had previously arranged for a man to travel to Turkey to meet with ISIS personnel and then travel to Syria, but the man later backed out of the plan.

 After the FBI started investigating Coffman in April, she made numerous posts that included her support for the group. 

“We are all ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq & Sham,” she wrote in June, posting two images related to the group. 

She later claimed she got her sister involved in the group. “My dad is a little angry because I got her into all this jihad stuff,” she said. 

Coffman had multiple other Facebook accounts with a variety of user names, including Heather Coffman, Heather La’ahad, Heather Obeida La’ahad, Heather Ametova, and Ubeida Ametova.

The FBI arrested Coffman and also raided her house, confiscating her laptop and other items, reported WTVR.

“I’m astonished by this. I can’t believe something like this happened in my own backyard. I mean, you see this stuff on CSI,” said neighbor Todd Lauterbach.

“I can’t comprehend someone sympathizing with what they do because it’s sickening.”

Coffman’s lawyer Mark Henry Schmidt says that the woman doesn’t seem to have any tangible foreign connections.

“As far as I know she hasn’t traveled anywhere. Her connections with the outside world would be on the Internet,” Schmidt said. “I imagine you can get into trouble on the Internet, but I imagine you can also think a lot more’s going on than really is. If nothing else, this is certainly a cautionary tale about the Internet.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.