• July 25, 2024

Biden-Appointed Judge Releases Alleged ISIS Fighter on Bond

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Biden-appointed U.S. District Judge Natasha Merle has released an alleged ISIS fighter caught in Syria on $500,000 bond ahead of her trial for allegedly receiving military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization.

The alleged ISIS fighter, Halima Salman, was released earlier this month after being repatriated with 10 other Americans, including five minors, from Syria.

Judge Merle, who was appointed by Joe Biden as a federal judge last August, ordered Salman to stay home and stay off the internet as her charge is pending. Salman’s bond was signed by 11 sureties. Her next court date is a status conference set for June 18.

According to the Justice Department’s criminal complaint against Salman, the 25-year-old American received training regarding the handling and operation of an AK-47 in Syria around March 2018, when she was 17. She had travelled from New York to Turkey, and entered Syria from there. She was captured by forces fighting ISIS in 2019, charging documents state.

Salman was interviewed by the FBI in Syria last November, when she told agents that she did not attend any type of training, never owned a weapon, and was never involved in any ISIS activities.

But the FBI has claimed to the contrary, pointing to pictures of Salman with an AK-47 in the background, and several photos of her and an ISIS flag in the background.

The FBI also found an alleged letter, which states that her military training was successfully and that she is qualified to receive ammunition for the AK47 already in her possession. According to the FBI, the letter is signed with a signature stamp indicating that it is issued by the Nusaybah Katiba—an ISIS military battalion or unit composed solely of female members of ISIS, principally those who were or had been married to male ISIS fighters.

Court Watch, which first reported on Salman’s release, commented, “That was a bit unusual for a terrorism case and may represent a bit of a sea change from the previous default of all folks accused of terrorism automatically being detained. Or it could just be that she had a phenomenal Federal Defender. Or both.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.


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