GROZNY, RUSSIA – Islamic State fighters got fooled by Russian women who pretended that they want to become their jihadi brides just to get some money.
Police discovered the fraud after they arrested three young women who were found to have used social media to contact militants.
The women apparently came up with the idea after being contacted on Facebook by men who were trying to develop an online relationship and eventually to persuade them to join them in Syria.
One of those involved, Maryam told, one man in particular began communicating with her at first. “He began to lure me, saying: ‘Do you want to come to Syria, [it is] very good.’ I told him that I had no money,” she said.
So the man wired her 10,000 rubles ($168).
After Maryam received the money, she deleted her social media accounts, setting up new ones and finding a new set of new men to speak to. Between the three women, they received more than $3,100, before Chechen police caught them.
Police officer Valery Zolotaryov told a local Chechen newspaper, “Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money.”
The women’s illegal stunt isn’t the first of its kind. Sometimes men create fake accounts, pretending to be females, with the same IS-swindling intentions.
The Islamic State often targets Muslim communities like Chechnya’s to recruit people who are willing to inflict individual acts of terrorism on their own soil. Members have been said to use social media to attract a wide reach of followers. But it’s usually women who are scammed during these arrangements, as they are married off to fighters and often become victims of sexual abuse.