SPARTA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Tennessee woman has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges Tuesday after providing support and materials that were intended to go to a foreign terrorist organization.
The United States Department of Justice announced on Tuesday 36-year-old Georgianna Giampietro, of Sparta, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges after being indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019.
Court documents show Giampietro admitted she had conversations with an undercover agent in September 2018 and expressed interest in traveling to Syria to join Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a foreign terrorist organization.
According to court documents, Giampietro provided instructions to the undercover agent on how to get to Syria while avoiding detection from law enforcement. Instructions included actions the undercover agent should take such as severing ties with people 6-8 months in advance, getting new phones before travel and advising travel through Turkey to get to Syria.
In addition to detailed instructions, the Sparta woman also offered the agent to communicate to her contacts on their behalf to ensure that they got to Syria safely to join the HTS. Attorneys state Giampietro provided the agent with her contact’s information fully knowing that HTS was a designated terrorist organization and that the undercover agent planned to go to Syria to work for and fund the HTS.
The Sparta woman used an encrypted social media account to communicate with the agent and her contact. Records show that she would sometimes utilize self-destruct timers during communication so the conversations would automatically delete without the possibility of recovery.
U.S. Attorney Mark Wildasin commended law enforcement for the Sparta woman’s arrest stating terrorism has no place in America.
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“I commend our law enforcement partners and our prosecutors who have worked diligently to investigate this case and bring this individual to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin. “All attempts to provide support to terrorist organizations will receive full attention and resources of our office and law enforcement to ensure that those who engage in such activity are held accountable.”
Giampietro faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on May 6, 2022.