SPARTA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman from Sparta, Tennessee was sentenced to five and a half years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to providing support and materials intended to go to a foreign terrorist organization.

A release from the Department of Justice says in August 2019, a federal grand jury indicted 37-year-old Georgianna A.M. Giampietro on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Giampietro was charged in January 2022 with concealment of material support and resources intended to be provided to a foreign terrorist organization; she pleaded guilty to the charge in January.

Once Giampietro is released from prison, she will be under supervised release for 15 years.

Court documents say in September 2018, Giampietro spoke with an undercover agent who was interested in traveling to Syria to join Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The undercover agent reportedly told Giampietro that her husband swore an oath of allegiance to HTS and that he intended to fight on behalf of HTS.

Giampietro initially told the undercover agent how to travel to Syria in order to avoid detection by law enforcement. The instruction and advice reportedly included actions the undercover agent and her husband should undertake before making the trip, such as severing ties with other people 6-8 months in advance, acquiring new phones before they traveled and considering traveling through Turkey prior to entering Syria.

In other conversations with the undercover agent, Giampietro offered to communicate with her contacts on their behalf to help them travel to Syria safely to join HTS. Giampietro engaged in a series of talks with a person whom she knew could help the undercover agent and her husband for such purpose. At one point after speaking with her contact, who claimed there was presently no jihad in Syria, Giampietro asked the undercover agent if she and her husband had considered traveling to Afghanistan since there was still fighting there.

Giampietro later gave the undercover agent her contact’s information to help her and her husband travel to Syria. When Giampietro gave the contact information to the undercover agent, Giampietro knew HTS was a designated terrorist organization and believed the undercover agent and her husband intended to travel to Syria to work under the direction and control of HTS. Giampietro also thought the contact would substantially help them in their effort.

Additionally, Giampietro intended that the undercover agent and her husband would give funds to that person, who would in turn provide funds to HTS, thereby providing material support to HTS disguised as a charitable contribution.

The Department of Justice says Giampietro used an end-to-end encrypted social media platform to communicate with the undercover agent and with her contact, and in some instances used self-destruct timer within her communications so that they would automatically delete, without the possibility of being recovered after a specified time.