A 19-year-old Denver woman accused of trying to help a foreign terrorist organization has requested to schedule a change of plea hearing. She is expected to plead guilty to the terrorism case.
Federal documents filed Friday say an agreement has been reached in the case against Shannon Conley of Arvada, Colorado, who was arrested at Denver International Airport in April while boarding a flight where she intended to ultimately end up in Syria.
Details of the agreement were not part of the court filing, but Conley’s public defender Robert Pepin asked to schedule a change of plea hearing where it is believed she will plead guilty.
FBI agents say Conley was intent on waging jihad in the Middle East, despite repeated efforts to stop her.
Over the course of eight months, Conley, a convert to Islam, told members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force that she was planning to travel overseas and marry a man she believed was a Tunisian fighter for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida splinter group. The militant group – known as ISIL or ISIS – has recently overrun parts of Iraq and Syria.
Conley claims she met her suitor online, and authorities said they are still investigating the man, identified in court documents only as Y.M. Conley said she planned to fly to Turkey and then travel to Syria to become a housewife and a nurse at the man’s camp.
Documents say she told agents four days before her arrest there was nothing they could do to change her mind.
FBI agents first became aware of Conley’s growing interest in extremism in November after she scared employees of a suburban Denver church by meandering around with a backpack and taking notes on the layout of the campus, according to court documents. The church, Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, was the location of a 2007 shooting in which a man killed two missionary workers.
Change of Plea Hearing Requested For Denver Woman in Terrorism Case