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December 4, 2014 6:25 am

Feds: Stolen Passport May Have Helped Minnesota Woman Join Syrian Jihadists

avatar by Abha Shankar

An FBI raid. Photo: ITB.

Another Minnesota resident of Somali descent has been charged with a crime related to attempting to join Syrian jihadists.

Yusra Ismail, a 20-year-old St. Paul woman, is charged with stealing and misusing a passport to travel to Syria. Ismail, who is not a U.S. citizen, left the United States on August 21, apparently using the passport she stole from an acquaintance.

Although there are no records currently available to show Ismail traveled beyond Norway, an affidavit in support of the complaint said that Ismail “departed the United States using a stolen passport and likely traveled to Syria.”

On August 24, Ismail wrote to her family saying she was now in “Sham,” described in the affidavit as “the area within Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (‘ISIS’) is attempting to establish a caliphate.”

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Although Ismail was scheduled to return to the U.S. on September 1, there is no evidence she came back.

Thus far seven people, including Ismail, have been charged this year with traveling to Syria in support of ISIS. Last week, two other Minneapolis-area Somalis were charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, also known as the Islamic State. Abdullahi Yusuf and Abdi Nur allegedly obtained expedited passports and booked flights to Turkey using cash from unknown sources. Nur, who left the country in May and has not returned, told an undercover Federal agent he went “to the brothers.” He added that we “will see each other in afterlife inshallah” (God willing).

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