Fun-Loving, American Girl Is Probably A Prolific Undercover Agent For ISIS: Investigation
A woman from Seattle might be the vital link between radicalized U.S. citizens and Islamic State militants.
Known as @_UmmWaqqas on Twitter, the agent’s identity was revealed by Channel 4 News. Rawdah Abdisalaam, in her twenties, acted as a contact for Americans and Brits just prior to joining the terror organization.
Keonna Thomas, a Philadelphia woman, was arrested for allegedly trying to become a martyr for the Islamic State in early April. Thomas, a 30-year-old mother of two, had been in direct contact with Abdisalaam for 18 months.
Some of the six men from Minnesota and California arrested by the FBI last week for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State were also in direct contact with Abdisalaam. According to Channel 4, the FBI has detained 25 U.S. citizens trying to join terrorist organizations this year.
Two of the three Colorado girls who skipped school to fly to Germany and eventually to Turkey, planning to join Islamic State militants, were also in contact with Abdisalaam, reports Channel 4. The girls’ families alerted the police after realizing they were gone, and officials flagged their passports. They were detained in Frankfurt and flown back to the U.S.
There’s no proof Abdisalaam “personally persuaded” people to travel to Islamic State-held territory. Rather, she was in contact with radicalized foreigners just prior to their departure for Syria. Before the account was suspended, Abdisalaam had 8,000 followers and was in close contact with “fighters and jihadi brides in Syria,” reports Channel 4 News.
Suspending Islamic State-affiliated Twitter accounts is controversial, some seeing it as a way to curtail the spread of jihadi ideology, while others say it inhibits intelligence tracking. (RELATED: Should Twitter Banish ISIS Fans, Or Track Them?)
Abdisalaam used social media to provide a travel guide to recruits. “Bring two flashlights. Expect to be robbed. And don’t take taxis that will rip you off,” reads the how-to, according to Channel 4 News. She posted pages from the Islamic State’s English-language online magazine, explaining why Muslims should emigrate to the so-called caliphate.
Abdisalaam advocated for the jihadi group, even justifying the Islamic State’s locking Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh in a cage and burning him to death. The Seattleite called it “an eye for an eye” on Twitter. But Abdisalaam also enjoyed the perks of an American life, cheering for the Denver Broncos and eating pizza.
Based on Abdisalaam’s disclosures online, she studied journalism in college but later switched to education. “She and her friends tweet about going to cafes and the gym, posting pictures of pizzas and cheeseburgers like any young American,” reports Channel 4 News.
Seven pictures uploaded by Abdisalaam were matched with locations around Seattle, according to an investigation by Channel 4 News. The station briefly conversed with Abdisalaam on Twitter, and the Internet network address used by the Islamic State agent was from Seattle. However, someone else could have been operating the account.
During the conversation, Abdisalaam claimed to be in Syria and said she was from Finland, despite previously claiming to be from the Netherlands.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top 6 on BarbWire.com
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.