Philadelphia woman charged with planning to join ISIS

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A Philadelphia woman has been arrested and charged with planning to join the terrorist organization ISIS. (WPVI)

A Philadelphia woman has been arrested and charged with planning to join the terrorist organization ISIS.

30-year-old Keonna Thomas, also known as "Fatayat al Khalifah" and "YoungLioness" was arrested Friday morning, and is now charged with knowingly attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Only Action News was there last Friday when FBI agents raided the suspect's home on North 10th Street in Spring Garden.

Federal prosecutors say Thomas knowingly attempted to travel overseas in order to join, fight with, and martyr herself on behalf of ISIS.

According to the criminal complaint filed in federal court, Thomas posted the following statement on Twitter: "If we truly knew the realities, we all would be rushing to join our brothers in the front lines pray ALLAH accept us as shuhada (martyrs)."

She then applied for a U.S. passport, disabled her Twitter account and contacted an ISIS fighter in Syria, who asked her if she wanted to be part of a martyrdom operation, prosecutors say.

Thomas allegedly responded by stating, "that would be amazing....a girl can only wish."

Investigators say she did online searches for indirect travel routes to Turkey, which is where most foreign ISIS fighters enter Syria.

They say she also purchased an electronic visa to Turkey.

Last week, prosecutors say Thomas bought airline tickets to fly to Spain. That's when they moved in and raided her home.

The arrest follows almost two years of monitoring Thomas' online communications and Twitter messages.

The case was investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Philadelphia Police Department.

She is charged with attempting to supply material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

She was informed of the charges and the court appointed a federal defender since she can't afford an attorney.

Thomas will be back in court next Wednesday.

If convicted, she faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison.


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isisterrorismdepartment of homeland securityFBIphilly newsCenter City Philadelphia
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