A dual Canadian-U.S. citizen from the Vancouver area has expressed regret about being part of the ISIS caliphate and now wants to come home from Syria.
The New York Times reported that Kimberly Gwen Polman, 46, married an Islamic State fighter whom she met online.
She reportedly flew from Vancouver to Istanbul in 2015 before crossing into ISIS-controlled territory.
She claimed to the newspaper that she tried unsuccessfully to escape from ISIS and was thrown into a cell and raped.
The interview took place in a camp housing women who've fled the crumbling caliphate.
ISIS engaged in many atrocities, particularly against the Yazidi people, but Polman declared that she's nonviolent.
“I’m not interested in bloodshed, and I didn’t know what to believe,” Polman told the New York Times. “These are videos on YouTube. What’s real? What’s not real?”
Her family members told the New York Times they haven't been able to help her.
The newspaper reported that Polman was raised as a Mennonite in Hamilton, Ontario, before studying legal administration at Douglas College and working for a short period at a Muslim school in Richmond.
In 2011, Polman won a Women's Opportunity Award from Soroptimist International of the Tri-Cities for improving the lives of women and girls. This was noted in an ad in the Tri-City News.
Her story was covered by New York Times correspondents Rukmini Callimachi and Catherine Porter. It was included in the same article that told the tale of a former Alabama college student, Hoda Muthana, who also became an ISIS fighter's wife and who wants to return to America.More