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Denver woman accused of working to aid terrorists hoping for plea deal

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Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, was arrested April 8 at Denver International Airport, where she allegedly told agents she planned to live with a suitor she met online, apparently a Tunisian man who claimed to be fighting for an Al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Denver woman arrested in April as she boarded a flight to Syria – where authorities say she was planning to aid terror groups – filed a motion that could help land her a deal with prosecutors.

The attorney for Shannon Maureen Conley, 19, asked the court last week for an extension of time to file motions on behalf of his client.

"The parties are in continuing discussions concerning the potential resolution of the case," Robert W. Pepin, an assistant federal public defender, said in the motion. "Should those discussions result in a resolution of the case, as expected, there will be no need for defense motions at this time."

When reached by FoxNews.com Wednesday, Pepin declined to comment on the proceedings and referred only to the court papers. Reuters reported that both sides will inform U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore by the end of the week if a deal is reached.

Pepin's client allegedly told agents that she wanted to use her American military training from the U.S. Army Explorers to start a holy war overseas, even though she knew that it was illegal. Her "legitimate targets of attack" included military facilities, government employees and public officials, federal court records say.

Conley was arrested April 8 at Denver International Airport, where she told agents she planned to live with a suitor she met online, apparently a Tunisian man who claimed to be fighting for an Al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS. The militant group has recently overrun parts of Iraq and Syria.

Conley has been charged with conspiring to help a foreign terrorist organization.

A nurse's aide, Conley told investigators she planned to fly to Turkey and then travel to Syria to become a housewife and a nurse at the man's camp, providing medical services and training.

FBI agents became aware of Conley's growing interest in extremism in November after she started talking about terrorism with employees of a suburban Denver church who found her wandering around and taking notes on the layout of the area, according to the court documents. The church, Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada, was the scene of a 2007 shooting in which a man killed two missionary workers.

Conley spoke with agents several times after that, telling them of her desire for jihad, the records state. The agents tried openly to dissuade her, urging her instead to support Muslims through humanitarian efforts, which she told them was not an option.

"Conley felt that Jihad is the only answer to correct the wrongs against the Muslim world," the documents say.

Agents encouraged Conley's parents to get her to meet with elders at her mosque to find more moderate options. Her parents were apparently unaware of her extremism, authorities said.

Her father told an agent in March that Conley and her suitor had asked for his blessing to marry and were surprised when he declined. Her father later found a one-way plane ticket to Turkey.

Four days before her arrest, she told agents "there was nothing they could do to change her mind and that she was still going." They stopped her as she was walking down the jetway.

Fox News' Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report

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