Sparta Woman Pleads Guilty To Concealing Material Support Intended For a Foreign Terrorist Organization
NASHVILLE – A Sparta, Tennessee, woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Friday, to 66 months in prison to be followed by a term of supervised release of 15 years, for concealing material support and resources intended to be provided to a Foreign Terrorist Organization, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Georgianna A.M. Giampietro, 37, was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2019, on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. A superseding Information filed in January 2022 charged Giampietro with concealment of material support and resources intended to be provided to a Foreign Terrorist Organization. She pleaded guilty to the charge in January.
According to court documents, in September 2018, Giampietro had conversations with an undercover agent who expressed interest in travelling to Syria to join Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The undercover agent told Giampietro that her husband swore an oath of allegiance to HTS and that he intended to fight on behalf of HTS.
Giampietro initially provided instruction and advice to the undercover agent on how to travel to Syria in order to avoid detection by law enforcement. That instruction and advice included actions that the undercover agent and her husband should undertake before making the trip, like severing ties with other persons 6-8 months in advance; acquiring new phones before they traveled; and considering traveling through Turkey prior to entering Syria.
In subsequent conversations with the undercover agent, Giampietro offered to communicate with her contacts on their behalf to assist them in safely traveling to Syria to join HTS. Giampietro engaged in a series of communications with an individual whom she knew could assist the undercover and her husband for such purpose. At one point after communicating with her contact, who claimed that 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 provided the undercover agent with her contact’s information to assist her and her husband in their travel to Syria. When Giampietro provided that contact information to the undercover agent, Giampietro knew that HTS was a designated terrorist organization and believed that the undercover agent and her husband intended to travel to Syria to work under the direction and control of HTS, and also believed that the contact would substantially assist them in this effort. In addition, Giampietro intended that the undercover agent and her husband would provide funds to that person, who would in turn provide funds to HTS, thereby providing material support to HTS disguised as a charitable contribution.
Giampietro utilized an end-to-end encrypted social media platform to communicate with the undercover and with her contact, and in some instances utilized self-destruct timers within her communications so that those communications would automatically delete, without the possibility of recovery, after a specified time.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip H. Wehby, Ben Schrader, and Kathryn Risinger of the Middle District of Tennessee, and Trial Attorney Jennifer Levy of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, prosecuted the case.
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