ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– The Arvada teenager accused of trying to gather information for a Muslim terrorist group was seemingly typical, as described by her neighbors, before her behavior started to change.
The FBI arrested Shannon Maureen Conley in April but her case was just made public. She is accused of helping the radical Islamic group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS.
Conley seemed to be a typical teen. She attended middle school in Loveland, then Arvada West High School before transferring to Ralston Valley then back to Arvada West.
Her neighbor, Bob Taylor, said Conley and her family have been living at the same home in Arvada for about two years. They also saw the changes.
“When she first moved in she seemed normal, wore clothes most kids wear, then she started wearing the long Islamic garb,” said Taylor.
According to court documents, she converted to Islam after meeting a Muslim man online who convinced her to take part in a holy war.
Conley was first picked up on the FBI’s radar at the Faith Bible Church in Arvada where she was wearing Islamic garb. She told investigators, “If they think I’m a terrorist, I’ll give them something to think I am.”
She was arrested while boarding a plane with a ticket to Turkey. Her arrest happened after the FBI repeatedly to talk her out of her plans.
“Tried to suggest other things she could do to help folks and after all those attempts she was committed to Jihad,” said FBI Special Agent In Charge Denver bureau Jim Davis.
Neighbors said they started to notice changes in her behavior.
“She would go down the street here to a park and sit on the swing. Swing in that attirre for maybe half an hour at a time. I don’t know if she was contemplating or meditating,” said Taylor.
The FBI said Islamic terrorists are recruiting American women through offers of love and going after those most vulnerable in attempts to gain access to the United States.