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Former US Soldier Charged with Supporting Syrian Terrorist Organization

REUTERS / Stringer

A New Jersey woman who served in the Army has been charged with providing material support to a Syrian terrorist group.

Posted: Nov 28, 2020 12:25 PM

Fox News - A New Jersey woman who served in the Army has been charged with providing material support to a Syrian terrorist group.

Maria Bell, 53, was arrested Wednesday at her home in Hopatcong, federal prosecutors said.

Bell is accused of sending money and other information to members of the al-Nusra Front and concealing her actions, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

"Bell used encrypted applications to communicate with and provide advice to fighters based in Syria who were members of the (ANF) ... fighting the Assad regime," the Justice Department said in a press release, citing court documents.

Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters carry their weapons on the back of a pick-up truck during the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen in Arsal, eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters carry their weapons on the back of a pick-up truck during the release of Lebanese soldiers and policemen in Arsal, eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
Bell is accused of communicating directly with and giving money to one member of the terror organization through Western Union in an attempt to hide the source of the money and also "provided him advice on weapons and ammunition," the release states.

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The Army veteran allegedly used her specialized weapons training to provide weapons assistance to the individual.

In a communication with the individual, Bell made comments about fighting, including, "Are you ready to fight in front line with other fighters? You are no longer young child like you used to be," according to court documents.

She said in another: "It will be frightening. But I am with you."

Bell faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Her attorney has declined to comment on the charges.

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