Two Canadian women among ISIL fighters captured during battle for Mosul: reports

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

(National Post, July 19,2017): If two female ISIL fighters from Canada have been captured in the rubble of Mosul, as unconfirmed reports suggest, they would be part of a bizarre Canadian export to the terrorist organization.

As many as 20 women from here have joined the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and most have given birth since arriving in Iraq or Syria, says one of Canada’s leading experts on radicalization.

Media reports suggest that Iraqi forces cleaning up the remnants of ISIL defences captured 20 or more female fighters — including women from Germany, Russia, Turkey and Canada — in a secret tunnel under the city.

Global Affairs Canada said Tuesday it was looking into the story but had not confirmed that any of this country’s citizens had been detained.

Amarnath Amarasingam, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo, said his interviews with fighters and their families in Canada indicate that at least 15 to 20 women have joined ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and most now have children.

“With the fall of Mosul and as the fight in Raqqa (the de-facto ISIL capital in Syria) intensifies, we are definitely going to see some foreign fighters or women try to surrender,” he said in an email interview. “So, (the report) is not entirely surprising.”

Among those reportedly captured was a 16-year-old German girl, Linda Wenzel, who left her hometown of Pulsnitz, near Dresden, a year ago after a rapid conversion to Islam, London’s Daily Telegraph reports.

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