Mother of 5 from Shfaram indicted for attempting to join ISIS

Iman Kanji, 44, faces charges of attempting to illegally leave the country and contact with a foreign agent.

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September 20, 2015 10:24
1 minute read.
ISIS flag flying in Ramadi Iraq

ISIS flag flying in Ramadi Iraq. (photo credit: AAMAQ NEWS VIA YOUTUBE / AFP)

A mother of 5 from Shfaram was indicted in a Haifa court on Sunday, a few months after she traveled to Turkey as part of an attempt to realize her dream of joining ISIS and living under a state governed by Islamic Law.

The woman, Iman Kanji, 44, was charged in the Haifa District Court on Sunday with attempting to illegally leave the country and contact with a foreign agent. The indictment said that Kanji volunteered to teach classes on Islam to ISIS fighters in Syria “in order to increase their motivation to fight for the organization.”

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She also said she would do anything that ISIS asked of her, according to the indictment.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement on Sunday that Kanji confessed that for years “she had desired to leave in a state governed by Islamic law”, and that with the rise of the Islamic State in the past year she saw a possibility to realize this goal. The ISA said she then began posting clips and writings by the group on Facebook and Twitter, and through her postings she met members of the organization who promised to help her get into Syria.

In early August, she decided to travel to Syria via Turkey, reviewed possibilities online to cross the border and recruited her father to come with her. On August 19, they traveled to Turkey with $11,000 to cover their expenses while living in Syria and working for ISIS.

Kanji was arrested by Turkey and deported back to Israel where she was arrested on August 28, according to the Shin Bet. At the time of her arrest she was traveling with a group of women from Australia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Chechnya, and other countries who had also traveled to Eastern Turkey in order to slip into ISIS-controlled areas of Syria. Though Kanji was originally arrested on August 28, her arrest, like many security offense-related arrests, was under gag order until the indictment was filed Sunday.


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