The ISIS White Widow Sally Jones is still alive and it is fighting in Syria
The fugitive jihadi, a former senior recruiter for the terrorist group, converted to a radical strain of Islam and traveled to Syria in 2013 to join a fellow Briton jihadist, but was thought to have been killed in mid-2017.
A captured Canadian ISIS fighter has told University of Waterloo extremism researcher Amarnath Amarasingam that Sally Jones escaped the June 2017 US drone strike aimed at taking her out, and is now hiding out in northeast Syria.
The foreign fighter, captured by Kurdish forces, “claimed she was still alive and probably in final (ISIS) holdouts of Hajin or As-Shafah,” Amarasingam told The Mirror. “If true, we may find her captured soon,” he added.
The captured militant’s testimony appears to lend credence to a US terror target list with Jones’ name on it published in April.
Joe, or JoJo, Jones’ 12-year-old son, whom she took with her to Syria, was also reportedly seen alive in As-Shafah near the Iraqi border. He was earlier thought to have been killed with his mother in the 2017 strike.
Jones, 50, a former punk rock musician, had been a single mother of two living on social assistance before meeting her husband, Junaid Hussain, then 19, online.
Traveling with him to Syria in 2013, the woman pledged her allegiance to Daesh and began training female fighters and promoting Islamist fundamentalism online, becoming Britain’s most wanted woman terrorist.
Given the nickname ‘White Widow’ by the UK media, and also using the pseudonym Umm Hussain al-Britani, Jones is thought to have recruited dozens of vulnerable British women into the terrorist group by boasting of the wonderful life found in ISIS’s so-called ‘caliphate’.
Living in Raqqa and put in charge of training all European female recruits, Jones encouraged converts to carry out terror attacks in the West, offered advice on how to travel to Syria, provided info on how to build home-made bombs, and defended the terrorist group’s brutal crimes, including beheadings, while posting pictures of herself with weapons on social media.
Hussain was killed in a US drone attack in 2015.
In 2016, Jones’ son was believed to have been used in a Daesh propaganda video. Wearing military fatigues, the child was shown holding a gun, standing over a kneeling prisoner in an orange jumpsuit before shooting him in the head. His grandparents later said they recognized him in the footage, with his grandfather describing the boy as a “lost soul.”
Daesh, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries, conquered wide swathes of Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2015, before being driven back by Iraqi, Syrian, and Syrian Kurdish forces and their allies. By 2018, the terrorist group’s holdings shrank to a few pockets in eastern Syria along the Euphrates River near the Iraqi border.