Throwing the book at accused terrorists

An ABC 7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mediha Salkicevic is a mother of four from Schiller Park. She has been in federal lockup in St. Louis since February, among six people charged with supporting ISIS in Syria. Monday, authorities are literally throwing the book at her: more than 100,000 Facebook pages that prosecutors say they intend to use as evidence in the case. Federal law enforcement says she and the others communicated by Facebook, sometimes in code.

Chicago attorney Andrea Gambino disputes what the government says happened in the case of Salkicevic, who is charged with funneling money and battlefield supplies to Islamic State fighters overseas. Those supplies include U.S. military uniforms, sniper rifle scopes and other tactical gear.

There was still snow on the ground when Salkicevic, 34, was arrested by federal agents here in Schiller Park where the Bosnian native was raising her four children and working overnights as an air freight supervisor at O'Hare.

Gambino wants to file a motion to dismiss the terrorism charges that carry a 30-year prison sentence, but has been stalled after the government dropped thousands of pages of potential evidence for her review.

According to court records, the government has collected 115,000 pages of Facebook records that it intends to use as proof she was supporting ISIS. Additionally, prosecutors have turned over 1,400 pages of photos and 1,000 pages consisting of search warrants, e-mails, text messages and other documentation, much of it not in the English language and requiring translation.

The government contends Salkicevic used Facebook just as the social media platform advertises that most people use it: to communicate with others around the world. But they say she and the others also employed code words to make terror plans.

Salkicevic and three others are being held without bond but a federal judge in St. Louis did allow bail for two of the terror suspects. All have pleaded not guilty. A court date is set for August 20 to iron out the logistics details of what sounds like a very complicated case.
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