Denver Woman Receives Four Years Sentence for trying to help ISIS
A Denver teenager has been sentenced for four years for her attempt to travel to Syria to help Islamic terrorists (ISIS). 19-year old Shannon Maureen Conley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to help ISIS in September 2014. During the hearing, Conley appeared in civilian clothes and a hijab.
Conley is the first American to be sentenced for conspiracy to support ISIS. While pronouncing the judgment, Judge Raymond P. Moore said that the sentence will stop others from taking a similar path. The judge added that Conley needed psychiatric help.
Judge Moore said, “I'm not saying her actions were a direct product of mental illness, but she's a bit of a mess. That woman is in need of psychiatric help. To me, it doesn't seem like she gets it.”
Conley said, “Since my incarceration I have had a chance to read the entire Quran. Even though I was committed to the idea of jihad, I didn’t want to hurt anyone. It was all about defending Muslims.”
During the court proceedings, her parents John and Maria Conley were also present. They later issued an open letter saying, “Everyone that has been directly involved with the case has told us they do NOT view Shannon as a threat to the public and that she isn't a 'terrorist'. They tell us that she was an incredibly naïve and idealistic young woman who trusted that others were telling her the truth about things happening in a distant land.”
Conley’s lawyer, Assistant Federal Defender Robert Pepin said that he was disappointed with the sentence. He added, “I think the judge gave a sentence he thought was appropriate. That’s all I really have to say about the sentence.”
Conley has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service as well. She has already served 9 ½ months in prison. She could have faced up to $250,000 in fine and up to five years in prison. As she cooperated with the investigators, her plea for lighter sentence was accepted last year.
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