USA v. Bell
Hopatcong, NJ

Al-Nusra Front

Maria Sue Bell was arrested at her home in November 2020 in connection with concealing sending money to a Syrian foreign terrorist organization. She was charged by complaint with one count of knowingly concealing the provision of material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. From February of 2017, Bell used encrypted applications to communicate with and provide advice to fighters based in Syria who were members of the al-Nusra Front (ANF), also known by other aliases, including Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), fighting the Assad regime. Bell communicated with and provided money to one self-identified member of HTS based in Syria, identified in the complaint as "User 1." Bell sent currency to User 1 via Western Union, using an intermediary to conceal the source of the funds, and also provided him advice on weapons and ammunition. Bell was sentenced in January 2023 to 34 months in prison for concealing her attempts to provide material support to Syrian foreign terrorist organizations. In addition to the prison term, Bell was sentenced to five years of supervised release.