Canadian woman lured to become Islamic State nurse via the internet
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: canada;
A Canadian woman opens up about her experience about joining terrorist group ISIS as a nurse.
In an interview with Anne Speckhard of Homeland Security Today, Kimberly Pullman, 46, said she joined the terror organization because she wanted to help children.
“If I was going to die at least I could die helping children,” said Pullman, who left Canada in 2015 to travel to Syria. “(It’s) illogical that you are entering a war zone that you don’t know anything about … I felt if I did something good it would overwrite the bad that had happened.”
According to Homeland Security Today, western women join ISIS for a variety of reasons, including wanting romance, adventure seeking, escaping bad family situations or rejecting Western society to name a few.
In joining ISIS, these women hope to find a relationship, a purpose, dignity and maybe a new life based on Islamic ideals. But they end up being disappointed by the reality.
For Pullman — who holds dual Canadian and American citizenship — that was the case.
Pullman said she left Canada running from a troubled family life and thinking she can help Syrians with her nursing skills during a war. The nurse was recruited on social media.
Pullman said she met her ISIS recruiter on Twitter and ended up marrying him online, later following him into the terror organization.
As a teen, the Canadian woman said, her leukemia-stricken father had asked her to help assist with his suicide. She was also raped more than once while in troubled relationships, which led to three children by the time she was 20.
Pullman said she was drawn to the conservative nature of Islam and looked for safety in Islamic communities to protect her kids. After converting to Islam, she married a Kuwaiti man who brought her and her children overseas.
Her husband allegedly subjected her and her children to violence. After escaping that relationship and divorcing her husband, Pullman looked to Canada for help from an imam, who ended up raping her as well.
It was during this period when she met her ISIS recruiter, who vowed to restore her honour.
Pullman became known to CSIS thanks to her online chats with ISIS. She claims the Canadian government tried to prevent her from travelling to Syria. In hindsight, Pullman said she would have told CSIS what the recruiter was doing.
While under ISIS influence, Pullman was told to either “work or go to prison.” As a nurse, she chose to work at hospital in Raqqa, Syria, with Western doctors, tending to patients in an underground ICU.
Pullman didn’t like what she was seeing in ISIS and didn’t want to stay. But she couldn’t just up and leave. She tried to escape once, but was thrown in prison, sexually assaulted and later accused of being a spy, she claimed.
While she wasn’t visited by Canadian authorities, Pullman said the FBI interviewed her, stating she didn’t have charges against her.
The woman said her family was warned against sending her help by the RCMP and FBI.
Pullman has since escaped ISIS, but is stuck in a Syrian camp, feeling abandoned by the Canadian government. She now wants to aid in the fight against the terror organization.
She now works with the ISIS Brand Counter Narrative Project, an online campaign to prevent and disrupt ISIS recruitment.