An FBI translator who was hired by the federal agency to spy on a German member of the ISIS group instead apparently grew attracted to him and snuck off to Syria to get married to him.
According to court documents produced on Tuesday, Daniela Greene, who had a "top secret" security clearance, mislead her colleagues at the Detroit office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation saying that she was heading to Germany to see her parents for a few weeks in June 2014.
But rather than boarding a flight to Germany, she flew to Turkey and snuck across the border to meet up and marry the ISIS fighter whom she fell in love with in short time. Though his identity remained unknown in the official documents, CNN reports that he was Denis Cuspert, a notorious former German rapper who was popularly known by the name of Deso Dogg.
Though it is not clear how Cuspert, also known as Abu Talha al-Almani, wooed her, court documents suggest that they might have communicated privately via a Skype account he used that Greene did not report to her FBI colleagues.
Cuspert was officially designated a terrorist in early 2015 by the US State Department, which described him as an ISIS recruiter focusing on German speakers, and noted that he had appeared in numerous ISIS videos, including on the one in which he was holding the severed head of an ISIS opponent.
Immediately after her arrival in Syria she married Cuspert, on 27 June 2014, according to court documents recently unsealed. But within days Greene, now 38, began to seek a way out.
"I really made a mess of things this time," she told a friend in a July 2014 email from ISIS territory.
"I don't know how long I will last here, but it doesn't matter, it's all a little too late," she said in a subsequent email. In another, she said she recognized she could be imprisoned for years if she returned.
Court documents did not explain how she escaped from ISIS territory, but by early August, less than two months after travelling to Syria, she returned to the United States and was arrested by the forces.
She immediately confessed and began cooperating with US prosecutors. Her cooperation "was significant, long-running and substantial," said an investigator, supporting a lenient sentence.
Eventually, she was pleaded guilty to one charge of "making false statements involving international terrorism," based on what she originally told the FBI about her travel plans. She received a relatively light 24 month prison sentence, and was released last year.
Greene, who was born in Czechoslovakia and married a US soldier, began work at the FBI in 2011, with no problems until her mysterious disappearance in June 2014.