The woman (though not yet confirmed) is thought to be 33-year-old Nicole Lynn Mansfield. Raised Baptist, the Flint, Michigan woman converted to Islam and began donning the hijab after marrying an Arab immigrant about five years ago. He dumped her after he got his green card, three years later. She has a daughter (now 18), the product of a teen pregnancy. She was apparently a lost soul searching for her purpose in life, which makes her conversion to Islam understandable. Carole Mansfield, her grandmother, said that Nicole told people:
“..that the best way of life was to be a Muslim. And that women should wear scarves ... women should always cover their head. ” She had a heart of gold, but she was weak-minded. I think she could have been brainwashed.”
Apparently local Syrian-Americans had never heard of Nicole.
Muna Jondy, a Syrian-American activist who is president of the Flint-based United for a Free Syria and who opposes the Syrian government, told the Detroit Free Press that she hadn’t heard of Mansfield. She also warned about accepting the Syrian television report because the station is linked to the Bashar al-Assad government, which is battling opposition forces and may be reporting propaganda.
According to her aunt, Monica Mansfield Speelman, about two or three years ago she made a trip to Dubai but was convinced to return home. Both aunt and granny said that Nicole did not keep in touch much, and they had no clue what her ex-hubby's name was or that she had even traveled to Syria. It seems this lack of communication happened after her marriage and conversion to Islam.
The FBI paid a visit to grandma Mansfield for more information, but are still reluctant to confirm her death. The Syrian government has her passport, though.
We make choices in life- she obviously made some bad ones.
Sources: CS Monitor, Al Arabiya