A former U.S. Army and National Guard soldier was allegedly communicating with and providing material and monetary support to a terrorist group operating in Syria, government prosecutors say.
Maria Bell, 53, of Hopatcong, NJ was arrested at her home by FBI agents. She was due to make her initial court appearance via video conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Bell is accused of providing material support to the al-Nusra Front, which is also known as al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant. The al-Nusra Front is a Salafist jihadist organization fighting against Syrian government forces in the Syrian civil war. Its aim was to force President Bashar Assad from power and establish an Islamic state in the country.
Al-Nusra Front was formed in November 2012 and a month later the United States Department of State designated it a foreign terrorist organization. In April 2013, it became the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda.