A New Jersey woman who agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors after confessing to being an ISIS recruiter under the alias “Umm Nutella” allegedly continued to provide support to the terror group as a double agent.
According to newly unsealed court documents, Sinmyah Amera Ceasar was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty a year later to providing material support to ISIS. But federal prosecutors said that even while she was cooperating with authorities last July, Caesar secretly contacted ISIS supporters and lied about it, “intentionally” deleting Facebook and text messages the would have revealed her criminal activity.
Ceasar also shared ISIS propaganda online to find potential recruits, prosecutors alleged.
“She played two main roles, which I would characterize as a disseminator and a connector,” Dr. Lorenzo Vivilo, a professor at George Washington University, reportedly testified during the first day of a two-day sentencing hearing. “My assessment is that she retains the mindset of ISIS.”
Ceasar will return to Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday to learn her punishment for two crimes—conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and post-cooperation obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors said in court documents that after Ceasar pleaded guilty, she “agreed not to disclose her cooperation with law enforcement to any person without authorization.” She was released on bail in April 2018 after she made “allegations about the purported inadequacy of medical care at the Metropolitan Detention Center.”
“Among the conditions under which the defendant was released was the condition that the defendant not use social media and that she not contact individuals or organizations affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations,” prosecutors said.
But, according to investigators, Ceasar immediately violated her bond conditions, obtaining and using a laptop, cellphone, and three Facebook accounts under the pseudonym “Umm Nutella” to communicate with “individuals she previously identified to the FBI as supporters of ISIS or other extremist groups.”
Prosecutors said they interviewed Ceasar at least six times after her release, and questioned her multiple times about her “intentional deletion of vast amounts of her communications with multiple individuals on Facebook” under the alias “Umm Nutella.” According to investigators, Ceasar used the name “Umm Nutella” during her online communications in support of ISIS prior to her 2016 arrest.
“[Ceasar] repeatedly—at least four times throughout the interview—denied that she ever identified herself to anyone as ‘Umm Nutella’ while on presentence release,” the court document states, adding “Facebook records show that the defendant identified herself in writing as ‘Umm Nutella’ to at least two individuals—including one she has previously identified to the FBI as a jihadist supporter.”
On June 13, 2018, Ceasar allegedly contacted a potential ISIS supporter on Facebook and wrote: “I’m umm nutella. I’m staying on down low” and “lie in not going to go to prison for nobody anymore.”
Two days later, according to prosecutors, she allegedly sent this message to another person: “I didn’t do anything wrong under Islam but stand up for my deen and got arrested for what I believe in but you have Muslim here did dangerous crimes like drugs etc but they don’t want to say shot isn’t bad but temptation of this dunya got all of us!! I’m focus to beware of what it is...”
Ceasar now faces 20 years to life.