July 24th, 2024

B.C. woman faces terrorism charges for travelling to Syria to join ISIS in 2015

By The Canadian Press on July 6, 2024.

Mounties in British Columbia say they have charged a 51-year-old woman with two terrorism-related offences after she reportedly travelled to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS. The RCMP logo is seen on the background for a news conference, in St. John's, Saturday, June 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

VANCOUVER – Mounties in British Columbia say they have charged a 51-year-old woman with two terrorism-related offences after she reportedly travelled to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS.

They say Kimberly Polman was repatriated to Canada in October 2022 and placed on a series of bail conditions as they investigated the allegations.

Police say she has been subject to a Terrorism Peace Bond – a protection order made by a provincial court when it decides there are reasonable grounds someone may commit a terrorism offence – since Nov. 7, 2023.

Mounties say the Pacific Region RCMP Federal Policing Integrated National Security Enforcement Team arrested and charged the Squamish resident on Friday.

Polman now faces one count of leaving Canada to participate in activity of a terrorist group and one count of participating in activity with a terrorist group.

Her next court appearance is scheduled to take place on Aug. 2 in Vancouver Provincial Court.

Superintendent Jag Dhot of the security enforcement team credits the success of their investigation to the dedicated officers on the file and its “policing and intelligence partnerships.”

“Along with our Canadian and International partners, the RCMP remains committed to combating violent extremism both in Canada and abroad,” Dhot said in a news release Saturday.

“Policing partners, local communities and families are all key in the successful identification, prevention and disruption of terrorist activities, as well as individual disengagement from violent extremism.”

The peace bond imposed on Polman included several conditions, including reporting to a parole officer, remaining at her home in Squamish and wearing electronic supervision equipment.

The order also included conditions that Polman have no contact with several people, such as her ex-husband, that she have no access to driving a vehicle except an electronic bike and that she not communicate with anyone suspected to be involved in terrorism.

Polman and another woman were returned to Canada in October 2022 from a detention camp in Syria that is holding mostly women and children who were rounded up after the fall of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida splinter group.

She was arrested on her return to Canada but had been out on bail prior to last year’s bond decision.

Oumaima Chouay, who returned to Canada at the same time as Polman, was granted bail in January in Quebec after being charged with leaving the country to participate in the activity of a terrorist group, providing property or services for terrorism purposes and conspiracy to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.

The return of Polman and Chouay was organized by Global Affairs Canada, with assistance from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the United States.

Another four Canadian women and 10 children landed in Montreal in April after being held for years at a prison camp in Syria. Three of the women were arrested upon arrival, while the fourth was not detained.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2024.

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