- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A New Jersey woman was charged Wednesday with concealing financial support to the al-Nusra Front, a terrorist organization described as al Qaeda in Syria.

Maria Bell, 53, of Hopatcong faces one count of knowingly concealing the material support and resources to foreign terrorist organization. She was arrested at her home early Wednesday morning, the Justice Department said.

Prosecutors say she used encrypted applications to contact a Syrian-based fighter for al-Nursa Front, also known as the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

Ms. Bell provided the fighter, with whom she had an online relationship, advice on how to purchase weapons and ammunition, sent him money and planned to meet him in Turkey, according to court documents.

Ms. Bell was planning to fly to Egypt Wednesday and then to Istanbul, according to court filings.

Prosecutors said the communications began as far back as March 2017.

Ms. Bell will appear via videoconference in federal court in Newark Wednesday afternoon.

If convicted, she could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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