A Sussex County girl was sentenced Tuesday to 2 years and 10 months in jail after she admitted final yr that she despatched cash to a overseas terrorist group in Syria, federal prosecutors stated.
Maria Bell, also called “Maria Sue Bell,” 55, of Hopatcong, beforehand pleaded responsible to concealing makes an attempt to supply materials assist to designated overseas terrorist organizations, in line with a launch from the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace. Bell admitted that she despatched cash to a member of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a Syrian terrorist group preventing the Assad regime.
Bell additionally supplied recommendation on weapons and ammunition, in line with a legal grievance.
Bell beforehand served within the U.S. Army and Army Nationwide Guard, and used her experience in specialised weapons coaching, “to supply steering regarding operational safety points, firearms purchases, and army information,” authorities stated.
She started speaking with one member of HTS, who was not recognized, in February 2017 and despatched 1000’s of encrypted communications to the particular person, in line with the grievance.
“Are you able to battle in entrance line with different fighters?” Bell is quoted as requested the particular person within the grievance. “You’re now not younger baby such as you was once. It is going to be horrifying. However I’m with you.”
Bell allegedly wired at the very least 18 funds totaling $3,150 to folks in Turkey and Syria who’re supporters of HTS, “figuring out that the funds would assist acts of terrorism by HTS,” authorities stated.
In Might 2018, HTS was added to the State Division’s database as a International Terrorist Group (FTO), in line with the Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research.
Bell was beforehand suspended from her job as an analyst with Atlantic Well being Methods after the costs had been introduced in 2020, however her present standing with the corporate was unclear.
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