A mother of four who is one of six Bosnian immigrants accused of providing material support to terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State group, appeared in a federal court in Chicago Saturday.
Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, spoke only to confirm her name and that she understood the charges against her. Along with five others, she is accused of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support to groups designated by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations, including ISIS and an al-Qaida-affiliated group known as the Nusra Front, CBS News reported.
Salkicevic and co-accused, the rest of whom have been charged in Missouri, participated in a scheme that began no later than May 2013, according to an indictment unsealed Friday. They used phones, email and social media websites including Facebook to communicate, employing code words like “brothers,” “lions,” and “Bosnian brothers,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
The defendants are accused of funneling money and in some cases equipment including U.S. military uniforms, firearms accessories such as sniper scopes and other tactical gear obtained in the U.S. to intermediaries who forwarded it on to fighters in Syria and Iraq, according to the Associated Press.
Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole told Salkicevic that she could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Salkicevic's attorney stressed that her client is innocent until proven guilty.
"An indictment is what the government thinks happened. Sometimes they're right sometimes they're wrong," Andrea Gambino told ABC7.
In addition to Salkicevic, the indictment names Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis County; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; and Jasminka Ramic, 42 of Rockford, Illinois.
Ramiz and Nihad Hodzic also face charges of conspiring to maim and kill persons in a foreign country. Ramiz allegedly provided tactical advice to fighters, and is alleged to have sent the aforementioned scopes to be used with sniper rifles. They could face life in prison if convicted.
Five of the six have been arrested, while one is overseas.