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Not in Kansas anymore

U.S. woman trained a battalion of female ISIS fighters and planned attack on a mall


Allison Fluke-Ekren Alexandria Sheriff’s Office via AP

Not in Kansas anymore
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Terrorist

Prosecutors in January charged Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, with leading an all-female battalion of Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria. Fluke-Ekren moved from Kansas to Egypt in 2008, then to Libya, landing in Syria in 2014. She has been married five times, and almost all of her husbands were killed while working for ISIS, according to court documents. Prosecutors said Fluke-Ekren began training roughly 100 women and girls to fight using AK-47 assault rifles, grenades, and suicide belts in 2016. Prosecutors said Fluke-Ekren wanted to recruit operatives to attack a college campus in the United States and discussed a terrorist attack on a shopping mall. She tried to fake her death in 2018 to evade U.S. investigators. She handed herself over to local Syrian police in 2021. She was transferred to U.S. custody on Jan. 28 and pleaded guilty June 7. She faces a maximum 20-year sentence.

Nigerian church targeted

Terrorists targeted St. Francis Catholic Church on June 5 in the southwestern Nigerian city of Owo. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives, killing dozens of people. Officials said the death toll could top 50, including many children. The Catholic Diocese of Ondo state in a statement later confirmed the attackers did not abduct any of the priests. Nigerian Christians have continued to suffer violent attacks from Muslim extremists in recent months. “No matter what, this country shall never give in to evil and wicked people, and darkness will never overcome light,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said.

Monkeypox on the rise

More than a dozen states had reported a total of 31 monkeypox cases in early June, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bump the disease to alert Level 2 out of 3. The agency is urging “enhanced precautions,” including wearing masks while traveling. The illness typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and fatigue. Some patients also develop rashes and lesions. CDC official Jennifer McQuiston said the rise in cases is unlikely to trigger another pandemic but needs to be curbed to prevent mass transmission to rodents and pets. Doctors say monkeypox appears to be sexually transmitted between homosexual men, but one heterosexual woman has been identified as a patient. There had been more than 1,000 cases globally as of June 7.

RHEA kills babies

Catholic bishops from Colorado asked Catholic lawmakers who voted in favor of pro-abortion legislation earlier this year to “voluntarily refrain from Holy Communion,” according to an open letter signed on June 6 and provided to Religion News Service. “Voting for RHEA was participating in a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the killing of innocent unborn babies,” the bishops’ letter said, referring to the Reproductive Health Equity Act, “and those Catholic politicians who have done so have very likely placed themselves outside of the communion of the Church.”

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