NEW YORK - A young American woman from Colorado, who tried to join the Islamic State terrorist group, was sentenced to 48 months in prison Friday by a federal judge determined to send a warning to anyone who was similarly inclined.

Shannon Maureen Conley is one of the first Americans to be sentenced for conspiracy to support IS and received a sentence that was also recommended by prosecutors seeking to send a message of deterrence.

Though the judge initially cited how Conley needs psychiatric care, he sided with prosecutors in the end.

“What is it that will cause others to stop” in the future, Judge Raymond Moore said during sentencing.

Before sentencing, Conley wept as she read a statement saying, “It was after arrest that I learned the truth about the (IS) that I was taught to respect.”

She talked about her ongoing journey into Islam. “Since my incarceration I have had a chance to read the entire (holy) Quran,” she said. She concluded that “the scholars” she had been following in her online research about Islam had distorted the holy Quran, she said.

Conley, 19, pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and, in exchange for a lighter sentence, had agreed to help authorities identify and prosecute those trying to recruit others into terrorist groups. The maximum sentence she faced was five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. “I never meant to hurt anyone,” Conley told the judge before he pronounced sentence. Wearing baggy, striped prison garb and a traditional Muslim head scarf, she spoke quickly but her voice broke frequently and she seemed close to collapse, according to media reports.

Conley was arrested in April at Denver International Airport as she tried to board a plane with a one-way ticket to Turkey. She planned to cross into Syria and meet Yousr Mouelhi, a 32-year-old Tunisian Islamic State militant she met on the Internet who had encouraged her to come and had promised marriage.

She said Friday that as she made her plans she did not know of the slaughter and other atrocities that occurred at the hands of the Islamic State militants. She said she is now “horrified” and thanked the FBI for intervening because she believes it saved her life.

“I am glad that I learned the true identity of (Islamic State) here and not on the front lines of Syria,” she told the judge, in front of a packed court room in Denver, the reports said.

Moore called her naive and scolded her for loving a “dangerous man” she did not really know. But he said it did not excuse her crime nor her earlier threats of waging violent jihad against the United States.

Conley has been described as a bright but lonely young woman living with her parents in the Denver suburb of Arvada. She converted to Islam about three years ago and became increasingly radicalized through social media and by contacts on the Internet, court documents said.