Philly woman in custody on suspicion of assisting Islamic State group

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 (Image via NBC10)

(Image via NBC10)

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have closed in on a 30-year-old woman believed to have had plans to move to Syria and fight with the Islamic State group.

Most of the evidence that she supported the group came from the woman’s Twitter account, according to a six-page affidavit filed by the FBI.

Precious little is known at this point about Keonna Thomas; her Twitter account has been deactivated and not much else can be gleaned about her online.

According to the charges, Philadelphia resident Thomas went by “YoungLioness” on Twitter and tweeted statements such as: “I wouldn’t be pleased till I become a solider of the Islamic State.”

But prosecutors say it wasn’t just her Twitter activity that got her in trouble. The FBI found communications between Thomas and Islamic State fighters in Jamaica and Syria arranging a way to leave the U.S.

In March, prosecutors say, she applied for a visa to travel to Turkey. Officials say Turkey is a common transit point for individuals trying to slip over the border to Syria.

Just last week, the FBI discovered that she bought a ticket to Barcelona and then researched on her computer ways to get from Spain to Turkey.

Authorities have arrested Thomas on charges of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, although she has not yet been formally indicted.

At her first court hearing Friday, Thomas wore a burqa and said “yes” when asked if she understood the charges.

Thomas’ court-appointed attorney declined to comment. Thomas, who remains in federal custody, will have a hearing Wednesday. 

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