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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Los Angeles (AFP) – A U.S. teenager who agreed to marry a fighter from the militant network that is threatening to overrun Iraq has been arrested and charged with trying to help a foreign terror group.

Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, was arrested in April as she prepared to fly to Turkey to join the jihadist, who was fighting in Syria, according to court documents unsealed this week.

She was described as a quiet girl, but changed markedly in the six months before her arrest, after meeting the fighter, a 32-year-old Tunisian identified only as “Y.M.”

Conley, a registered nurse, allegedly agreed to get engaged to him and join him in Syria, where she offered to provide any help she could, whether as a nurse or otherwise.

“Y.M.” was with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has captured swathes of Iraq in its drive to create an “Islamic caliphate.”

ISIL is backed by thousands of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq.

In preparation for her mission, Conley joined the U.S. Army Explorers (USAE) last September to be trained in U.S. military tactics and firearms, it is alleged.

“Conley said she planned to tell her family about her jihad plans once she was out ofthe U.S. as there was nothing they would be able to do about it then,” said an affidavit released by the Colorado U.S. Attorneys Office.

Asked if she would be interested in working for an aid organization or charity, “Conley stated she has no interest in doing humanitarian work,” it said.

“Conley felt that jihad is the only answer to correct the wrongs against the Muslim world. Conley said she preferred to wage jihad overseas so she could be with jihadist fighters.”

She was arrested at Denver airport on April 8 as she prepared to board a flight for Istanbul, via Frankfurt.

Conley is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

If convicted, she faces up to five years in jail or a $250,000 fine, or both.

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  • Bob_OR

    Does anyone remember “The Hangman” poem?

    Into our town the Hangman came, smelling of gold and blood and flame. And he paced our bricks with a diffident air. And built his frame on the courthouse square. The scaffold stood by the courthouse side, only as wide as the door was wide; a frame as tall, or little more, than the capping sill of the courthouse door. And we wondered, whenever we had the time, who the criminal, what the crime, that Hangman judged with the yellow twist of knotted hemp in his busy fist. And innocent though we were, with dread we passed those eyes of buckshot lead; till one cried: “Hangman, who is he for whom you raise the gallows-tree.” Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye, and he gave us a riddle instead of reply: “He who serves me best,” said he, “Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.” And he stepped down, and laid his hand on a man who came from another land and we breathed again, for another’s grief at the Hangman’s hand was our relief. And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn by tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone. So we gave him way, and no one spoke, out of respect for his hangman’s cloak.

    The next day’s sun looked mildly down on roof and street in our quiet town and, stark and black in the morning air, the gallows-tree on the courthouse square. And the Hangman stood at his usual stand with the yellow hemp in his busy hand; with his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike and his air so knowing and businesslike. And we cried: “Hangman, have you not done, yesterday, with the alien one?” Then we fell silent, and stood amazed: “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.” He laughed a laugh as he looked at us: “Did you think I’d gone to all this fuss to hang one man? That’s a thing I do to stretch the rope when the rope is new.” Then one cried, “Murderer!” One cried, “Shame!” And into our midst the Hangman came to that man’s place. “Do you hold,” said he, “With him that was meant for the gallows-tree?” And he laid his hand on that one’s arm, and we shrank back in quick alarm, and we gave him way, and no one spoke out of fear of his hangman’s cloak. That night we saw with dread surprise the Hangman’s scaffold had grown in size. Fed by the blood beneath the chute the gallows-tree had taken root; Now as wide, or a little more, than the steps that led to the courthouse door, as tall as the writing, or nearly as tall, halfway up on the courthouse wall.

    The third he took — we had all heard tell — was a usurer and infidel, And: “What,” said the Hangman, “have you to do with the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?” And we cried out: “Is this one he who has served you well and faithfully?” The Hangman smiled: “It’s a clever scheme to try the strength of the gallows-beam.” The fourth man’s dark, accusing song had scratched out comfort hard and long; and “What concern,” he gave us back, “Have you for the doomed – the doomed and black?” The fifth.The sixth. And we cried again: “Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?” “It’s a trick,” he said, “that we hangmen know for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.” And so we ceased, and asked no more, as the Hangman tallied his bloody score; and sun by sun, and night by night, the gallows grew to monstrous height. The wings of the scaffold opened wide till they covered the square from side to side; and the monster cross-beam, looking down, cast its shadow across the town.

    Then through the town the Hangman came and called in the empty streets my name – and I looked at the gallows soaring tall and thought: “There is no one left at all for hanging, and so he calls to me to help pull down the gallows-tree.” And I went out with right good hope to the Hangman’s tree and the Hangman’s rope. He smiled at me as I came down to the courthouse square through the silent town, and supple and stretched in his busy hand was the yellow twist of the hempen strand. And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap and it sprang down with a ready snap— and then with a smile of awful command he laid his hand upon my hand. “You tricked me, Hangman!” I shouted then. “That your scaffold was built for other men. And I no henchman of yours,” I cried, “You lied to me, Hangman, foully lied!” Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye: “Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said, “Not I. For I answered straight and I told you true: The scaffold was raised for none but you. “For who has served me more faithfully than you with your coward’s hope?” said he, “And where are the others that might have stood side by your side in the common good?” “Dead,” I whispered; and amiably “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me; “First the alien, then the Jew… I did no more than you let me do.” Beneath the beam that blocked the sky, none had stood so alone as I – and the Hangman strapped me, and no voice there cried “Stay” for me in the empty square.