It’s a romance straight out of a very twisted fairy tale. Daniela Greene worked at the FBI’s Detroit office as a contractual linguist fluent in German, according to a Tuesday Fox News report. Denis Cuspert was a German rapper who went by the name of Deso Dogg, before he moved to Syria, that is, and changed his name to Abu Talha al-Almani, and in 2012 joined Daesh and became one of their top recruiters.
Greene had joined the FBI in 2011; in January 2014, she was transferred to the Detroit office and assigned to watch Cuspert, CNN reports.
Before the year was out, Greene made her way to Syria to marry him.
The US State Department first labeled Cuspert a terrorist in 2015. He had become known for appearing in gruesome Daesh videos, including one where he was present while people were beheaded and shot. Cuspert even held up the head of one the victims, saying they died because they opposed the extremists.
Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement, "Cuspert was a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for ISIL who used social media to take advantage of disaffected youth and potential Western recruits."
Greene told her superiors at the Bureau that she was flying to Germany for "vacation/personal" reasons, but she was really going to join Cuspert in Syria, despite having knowledge of his role in Daesh. She first flew to Istanbul, Turkey, before making her way to Gaziantep, roughly 20 miles from the Syrian border, where she contacted the jihadi, whom she married in late June 2014.
Greene warned Cuspert about the investigation, and the two were married for about a month when she realized the implications of her actions. She wrote in an email to an unnamed person in the US, "I was weak and didn't know how to handle anything anymore. I really made a mess of things this time … I am in Syria. Sometimes I wish I could just come back. I wouldn't even know how to make it through, if I tried to come back. I am in a very harsh environment and I don't know how long I will last here, but it doesn't matter, it's all a little too late…"
She wrote shortly after that she wished she could "turn back time."
Though she feared a lengthy prison sentence, Greene returned to the US in early August 2014, eventually pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with officials.
She became a hostess at a cocktail lounge following her release in August 2016, telling CNN on Monday that she couldn’t speak to them out of fear for her family’s safety.
Cuspert was thought dead after an airstrike in 2015, but was later found to have survived.