ISIS Fighters

Canadian Woman Charged with Joining ISIS

A British Columbia woman, repatriated from a Syrian prison camp in 2022, has been arrested and charged with terrorism offences, police announced Saturday.

Details of Charges

Mounties from B.C. and the Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit stated in a news release that Kimberly Polman, a 51-year-old Squamish resident, faces charges of “leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group” and “participation in the activity of a terrorist group.”

Background and Allegations

The charges stem from an ongoing investigation into allegations that Polman left Canada in 2015 and travelled to Syria to join ISIS.

Legal Proceedings

Polman has been under a terrorism peace bond since November 2023. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 2, in Vancouver provincial court.

Kimberly Polman

Law Enforcement’s Perspective

“The success of this investigation is directly attributable to the dedication of our investigators and the strength of our partnerships in policing and intelligence,” said Supt. Jag Dhot of the Pacific Region RCMP Federal Policing Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in the release.

Polman’s Defense

Polman has maintained that she was persuaded to travel to Syria in 2015 by her husband, an ISIS member whom she met online.

Previous Detention and Repatriation

According to a 2020 report by Human Rights Watch, Polman is a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen who converted to Islam as an adult and primarily resided in Canada before journeying to Syria to serve as an ISIS nurse. She was detained by Kurdish fighters in Syria in 2019 and held in a camp for internally displaced persons until her repatriation in October 2022.

Arrival and Legal Actions

Polman and another woman, Oumaima Chouay, were repatriated simultaneously and arrested upon landing in Montreal. Chouay faced charges shortly after her arrest, while Polman was released on a peace bond with conditions such as wearing an ankle monitor and strict restrictions on travel and internet use.

Recent Developments

After a terrorism peace bond hearing in Chilliwack provincial court last November, Polman was released again under additional conditions. During the hearing, Polman’s family released a statement to the media, portraying her as “cooperative with all authorities,” “compliant,” and “respectful.”

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