NASHVILLE- A Sparta, Tennessee, woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to concealing material support and resources intended to be provided to a foreign terrorist organization, U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin said. for the Central District of Tennessee.
Georgianna AM Giampietro, 36, was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019, charging her with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. She was arrested at her home by FBI agents shortly thereafter and remains in custody. Substitute information filed last week accuses Giampietro of concealing material support and resources to be provided to a foreign terrorist organization, a charge to which she pleaded guilty.
“I commend our law enforcement partners and prosecutors who have worked diligently to investigate this matter and bring this individual to justice,” U.S. Attorney Wildasin said. “All attempts to support terrorist organizations will receive the full attention and resources of our office and law enforcement to ensure those who engage in such activities are held accountable. The safety and security of the American public demand no less.
“Protecting the United States from terrorist attacks is the FBI’s number one priority,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas M. Korneski of the FBI’s Memphis Field Office. “This case once again demonstrates the FBI’s dedication to vigorously pursuing those who provide material support to terrorist organizations and holding them accountable for their conspiratorial acts. I am proud of the personnel who have worked countless hours to protect the community. , and I want to thank all of the agencies that participate in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Together, we are combining our resources to identify and disrupt threats to protect our community.”
According to court documents, Giampietro admitted that in September 2018 she had conversations with an undercover agent who expressed interest in traveling to Syria to join Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a foreign terrorist organization. designated. The undercover agent told Giampietro that her husband had sworn allegiance to HTS and intended to fight on behalf of HTS.
Giampietro initially provided the undercover agent with instructions and advice on how to travel to Syria to avoid detection by law enforcement, including actions the agent took. infiltration and her husband should undertake before making the trip, including breaking ties with other people 6-8 months in advance; acquire new phones before travelling; and consider traveling through Turkey before entering Syria.
In subsequent conversations with the undercover agent, Giampietro offered to communicate with his contacts on their behalf to help them travel safely to Syria to join HTS. Giampietro engaged in a series of communications with someone she knew could help the undercover agent and her husband to that end. At one point, after communicating with her contact, who claimed there was currently no jihad in Syria, Giampietro asked the undercover agent if she and her husband had considered going to Syria. Afghanistan since they were still fighting there.
Giampietro then provided the undercover agent with his contact details to help her and her husband on their trip to Syria. When Giampietro provided the contact, she knew that HTS was a designated terrorist organization and believed that the undercover agent and her husband intended to travel to Syria to work under the direction and control of HTS and believed that contact would help them considerably in this effort. . Furthermore, Giampietro intended for the undercover agent and her husband to provide funds to this person who, in turn, would provide funds to HTS, thereby providing material support to HTS disguised as a charitable contribution.
Giampietro used an end-to-end encrypted social media platform to communicate with the infiltration and with his contact, and in some cases used self-destruct timers in his communications so that these communications were automatically deleted, without possibility of recovery, after a specified time.
Giampietro faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on May 6, 2022.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip H. Wehby, Ben Schrader, and Kathryn Risinger of the Central District of Tennessee, and General Counsel Jennifer Levy of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, are prosecuting the case.
# # # # #