A Turkish woman, who resided in Orange County, California, and was convicted of providing material support to terrorists to harm U.S. interests overseas, was turned over to authorities in Istanbul on Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), according to ICE officials.
The convicted jihadist, 43-year-old Oytun Ayse Mihalik, under an escort by San Francisco-based ERO officers, was transferred in Istanbul to the custody of Turkish law enforcement. Mihalik had pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support to terrorists, which got her a sentence of five years in federal prison in March 2013.
Mihalik was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Josephine Tucker in March 2013 after pleading guilty on Aug. 10, 2012, to one count of providing material support to terrorists operating in Pakistan.
In her plea deal, Mihalik confessed that she provided money to an radical Muslim in Pakistan to be used for attacks against U.S. military personnel and other persons overseas.
Mihalik, who is also known as “Cindy Palmer” and worked as a pharmacist, sent more that $2,000 in wire transfers to an individual in Pakistan in late 2010 and early 2011. As part of her plea, Mihalik agreed to forfeit her lawful permanent resident status and be removed to Turkey after serving her prison sentence.
“Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States is a privilege,” said Adrian Macias, acting field office director for ERO San Francisco. “ICE will move aggressively against those engaged in actions that seek to harm those responsible for safeguarding the very freedoms that privilege affords.”
“Department of Homeland Security databases show Mihalik arrived in the U.S. in July 2006 on a work visa and became a lawful permanent resident in January 2011. In April 2013, she was ordered removed to Turkey by a federal magistrate judge as part of a judicial order based on her involvement in providing material support to terrorist activity,” according to information from the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Jim Kouri is a member of the Board of Advisors and a former vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Florida in May 1967. The Association was organized for educational and charitable activities for law enforcement officers in command ranks and supervisory agents of state & federal law enforcement agencies as well as leaders in the private security sector. NACOP also provides funding to small departments, officers and the families of those officers paralyzed and disabled in the line of duty.