Wisconsin woman taught bomb-making online for Islamic State: prosecutors

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin woman used hacked Facebook accounts to provide lessons in making bombs and poison on behalf of the Islamic State militant group, prosecutors said Monday.

Waheba Issa Dais, 46, of Cudahy, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to one count of “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Wisconsin said in a release.

Her support in 2018 took the form of providing expert advice on the Internet on bombs and biological weapons in order to help ISIS, officials said.

“Remember Boston Marathon bombing?” prosecutors said she posted to an undercover F.B.I. agent on Facebook. “It was very easy to make. All it needs is a pressure cooker, shrapnel and explosives. Join my channel and research.”

They said she also gave instructions on how to make the poison ricin, derived from castor beans.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Krueger said in a statement that “From her home in Cudahy, Dais promoted ISIS’s hateful, violent agenda and provided detailed instructions on how to harm innocent people.”

Dais faces a sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, officials said, and is set to go before a judge in September for sentencing.

Her attorney, John Campion, told the New York Times that he and his client, “look forward to the September sentencing hearing where we will address the complicated history that led to her online conduct.”

Her attorney was not immediately available to Reuters early Tuesday.

In a separate case, prosecutors announced the conviction of Yosvany Padilla-Conde, a Cuban national who was residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for attempting to provide material support to ISIS.

In a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, prosecutors said Padilla-Conde made videos swearing his allegiance to the group and stated his intent to travel to the Middle East. He also faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Craig Powell, an attorney for Padilla-Conde, told the Times that his client was set up by an undercover F.B.I. agent who offered to help him travel to Mexico if he made an ISIS video.

Padilla-Conde’s attorney could not immediately be reached by Reuters early Tuesday. His sentencing hearing is set for August, officials said.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta, Editing by William Maclean