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RCMP charge B.C. woman with terrorism

A British Columbia woman caught in Syria during the war against ISIS has been charged with terrorism offenses, the RCMP said on Saturday.

Kimberly Polman faces charges of leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist group as well as participation in the activities of a terrorist group.

She appeared in court in Vancouver on Saturday morning and was scheduled to return on Aug. 2.

The resident of Squamish, B.C. was among dozens of Canadian women who flocked to ISIS-held territory when the terrorist group held parts of Syria.

The mother of three was captured by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in 2019, and returned home to Canada in 2022, but she was not charged until now.

Polman has depicted herself as a victim who naively married an ISIS fighter she met online, but the RCMP alleged she was committed to the group.

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Canadian diplomats, left, in northeast Syria to secure the release of Kimberly Polman, Oct. 2022.


According to an RCMP report, Polman was part of the all-female ISIS battalion, Nusaybah Katibah, which provided weapons training to women.

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In addition to belonging to the women’s fighting group, Polman was an informant for the ISIS secret police, known as the Emni, the RCMP alleged.

She carried a gun and “handled and transported guns for the benefit of ISIS,” wrote the RCMP, which said Polman’s family feared she could turn violent in Canada.

“Ms. Polman’s own son told investigators he would not be surprised if she strapped a bomb to her chest,” the Crown alleged in submissions to the court.

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She is the third Canadian woman who lived under ISIS to be face charges, along with Oumaima Chouay of Quebec and Ontario’s Ammara Amjad.

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Polman converted to Islam following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and entered into a series of marriages, eventually to an ISIS member.

To finance her trip to join him in Syria, Polman obtained gift cards from a Muslim charity and sold them to her son, the RCMP alleged.

On July 21, 2015, she left Vancouver for Turkey and crossed into Syria. According to the RCMP, she pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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Her husband was a member of the Emni, and Polman was an alleged informer who reported people who criticized ISIS or indicated they wanted to leave.

The Emni would then arrest and torture the person, another Canadian ISIS member (who has also now returned to Canada), told police.

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While in Syria, she married another ISIS member, a Trinidadian named Ali who manufactured rockets and mines for ISIS, according to the RCMP.

Global Affairs Canada flew Polman back to Montreal in October 2022. She was arrested but released to live at home in B.C. under court-ordered conditions.

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