At least three Somali families in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have female relatives who have gone missing in the past six weeks and may have tried to join ISIS, said community leader Abdirizak Bihi. He said that while the reasons for their disappearance were unclear, he had told the families to contact police.
In a separate case, a 19-year-old American Somali woman from St. Paul snuck away from her parents on Aug. 25 saying she was going to a bridal shower. Instead, she flew to Turkey and joined IS in Syria.And according to the FBI, there could be more recruits.
Greg Boosalis, FBI division counsel in Minneapolis, said law enforcement was investigating the possible recruitment in the area by Islamist extremists of other females, as well as males, but refused to comment on specific cases.And it's not just from the Twin Cities Somali community. They're being recruited from all over the U.S. John McAuthor McCain, who was killed a few months back in Syria, was a Muslim convert from San Diego. And then this young woman from Colorado.
“We are looking into the possibility of additional men and women travelers,” he said.
Somali leaders and sources close to police worry that the reports of female would-be jihadis from the region could mark a new trend.
The St. Paul woman is highly likely to have been recruited by ISIS through Islamist sympathizers in the United States, rather than joining the group on her own, they said. At least one other woman is suspected of helping her leave the United States.
Another U.S. teenager, nurse's aide Shannon Conley, 19, from Colorado, pleaded guilty this week to trying to travel to the Middle East to enroll in ISIS. She was arrested at Denver International Airport in April with a one-way ticket and had been recruited online by a male militant in Syria.And that's just the ones we actually hear about. How many more have just slipped away without being detected.
If they're not killed over there, which one could only hope for, they better not be allowed back into this country.