Social Media Posts Lead FBI to Arrest a Philadelphia Woman for Trying to Join ISIS

Considering that ISIS poses one of the most serious threats to American security of our time, it is particularly disturbing that Americans are trying to travel to Syria to join the fight. The FBI has intercepted many of these Jihadists through the use of informants. However, in one of the latest cases, the culprit incriminated herself through posts on Twitter.

Authorities charged Keonna Thomas of Philadelphia on April 3, 2015 for her attempts to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. FBI agents caught her right in time, because she was booked to fly to Spain on March 29 as part of her plan to make her way to Syria through Turkey.

The FBI knew that Thomas had researched ways to get to Syria from Turkey and had purchased an electronic visa to the country. Turkey is widely known as the most direct transit point for people who want to travel to Syria from Europe.

Thomas first came to the attention of the FBI through her incendiary Twitter posts. She first started making pro-Jihad tweets in 2013 and exchanged messages with a Somali-based Jihadist in December 2013. The man asked her if she wanted to martyr herself to which she replied “a girl can only wish.”

The woman exchanged messages with other radical Islamists including one in Jamaica. She wrote of deactivating her Twitter account so as not to draw the attention of unbelievers who might take her passport. Fortunately, by this time it was too late.

With the time for her trip coming near, federal agents searched her home on March 27 and seized evidence before arresting her. Thomas is being held until a detention hearing next week. She faces up to 15 years in prison for her attempts to become a Jihadist martyr.


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