After responding to social media recruiting, the girls convinced recruiters to send them about $3,300 for the journey.
News reports say the girls made a business of scamming Islamic recruiters. They would pretend to be interested in heading to Syria, but lacked the funds. After recruiters wired them money, the girls would close their social media accounts and keep the cash.
Police in the Chechen Republic, which is predominantly Muslim, have detained the girls.
News reports failed to cite the ages of the girls.
Please report typos...
Chechen police have detained three female con artists who talked fighters of the terrorist group Islamic State into sending them money for traveling to Syria.
The young women turned the tables on Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) by using their primary recruitment tool, social media, against them. Russia’s predominantly Muslim Chechen Republic is a prime target for Islamic State propagandists, who call on young men and women to join their cause and travel to the Middle East to become join their jihadist campaign.
But with the Chechen girls apparently the joke was on Islamic State, as they made a business of meeting recruiters online and pretending to be eager to go to Syria. The only obstacle, they said, was the lack of travel money, which the recruiters were often willing to provide. Once the money was sent via anonymous electronic transfers, the swindlers would simply cash the money and delete the social media account used in the con.
The three-girl operation managed swindle some $3,300 from Islamic State recruiters before being caught by a Chechen police E unit specializing in monitoring online activities for evidence of crimes, Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported.
“I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction,” Valery Zolotaryov of the E unit told the newspaper. “Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money.”
The young women may have exploited IS in this case, but mostly it happens the other way around. Even one of the Chechen swindlers was considering taking up the offer and going to Syria rather than pulling out, she told LifeNews.
“Many people I know did go, but I know no one for whom it turned out well,” she said.
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