Kansas Woman Accused of Leading ISIS Battalion Ordered Held Without Bail

By Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.
and Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
January 31, 2022 Updated: January 31, 2022

A Kansas woman who is accused of plotting terrorist attacks on American soil was ordered held without bail during a hearing on Monday.

Allison Elizabeth Fluke-Ekren, 42, who was transported to the United States after being arrested in Syria on Jan. 27, allegedly led a battalion for the ISIS terrorist group. According to charging documents, she plotted to carry out bombings in America, including of a shopping mall.

In her first court appearance, Fluke-Ekren did not enter a plea. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis ordered her held without bail until a detention hearing, which is scheduled to take place on Feb. 3.

Joseph King of the Alexandria law firm King Campbell Poretz Mitchell was named as Fluke-Ekren’s attorney at the hearing. King did not respond to inquiries from The Epoch Times about the case. King and his law firm have represented several high-profile clients in the Washington area, including serial killer Charles Severance.

U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh told Davis during the hearing that Fluke-Ekren’s adult children, as well as her parents, have requested to have no contact with her.

Davis had little ability to keep her from reaching out to her family from jail, but told Ekren that if she contacted her family against their wishes, he would take it into account when making a decision after Thursday’s hearing.

Ekren, speaking in a soft-spoken voice and wearing an inmate jumpsuit and headscarf, said she understood the restriction. She also told the judge, in response to his question, that she preferred to be addressed as Ekren.

Epoch Times Photo
Allison Fluke-Ekren in a booking photograph. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Fluke-Ekren, a mother of five and former school teacher, allegedly left the United States in 2008 and soon afterward joined ISIS.

Eyewitnesses told U.S. federal agents that she fantasized about attacks that would strike large groups of people, with one saying the accused terrorist considered any attack that did not kill a large number of individuals to be a waste of resources and campaigned for attacks to occur on American soil.

Fluke-Ekren’s battalion, which included young children, was trained in the handling of AK-47s, grenades, and improvised explosive devices. They were also taught how to prep a “go bag” with rifles and other military supplies, according to court documents.

Fluke-Ekren’s American husband died in 2016 while leading ISIS snipers in an airstrike, authorities say. She remarried a Bangladeshi described as a prominent ISIS leader.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.