Feds charge Georgia woman with supporting cyber caliphate
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges Tuesday against a woman accused of recruiting cyber supporters to an online group that published “kill lists” on behalf of the Islamic State.
Kim Anh Vo, 20, was arrested in Georgia and appeared in federal court in Augusta on charges of conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
She agreed to be transferred to Manhattan for further proceedings.
Her defense attorney, Ken Crowder, declined to comment on the charges.
The FBI said in court filings that Vo joined an online group called the United Cyber Caliphate that spread propaganda on behalf of the Islamic State group and called on supporters to kill thousands of Americans in so-called lone wolf attacks.
Prosecutors said Vo recruited members to the group, including a minor from Norway, to assist in hacking efforts, and also did editing and translating for the group.
She contacted the FBI on at least three occasions beginning in July 2017 saying she wished to speak to law enforcement, according to federal court filings. She was then interviewed by FBI agents.
Authorities said the cyber caliphate published “kill lists” online containing the names of American soldiers and State Department officials. They said one list included the names and addresses of more than 3,600 people in the New York City area.
The FBI said the group also created a video threatening a nonprofit based in New York that was formed to combat the online promotion of extremist ideologies.