A group of Chechen women have reportedly been detained by the Russian authority on charges of receiving money from Islamic State recruiters after they posed as potential ‘Jihadi brides’ and scammed the militant group, raking in thousands of pounds in the name of ‘travel money’.
In an interview with a Russian website Life News, one of the three women involved in the scam, Maryam — from the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, revealed that they were first approached by militants over social media a few months ago.
Explaining how recruiters lure women to become ‘Jihadi bride,’ Maryam said, “He (IS recruiter) began to lure me, saying: ‘Do you want to come to Syria, here it is very good.’ I told him that I had no money. He told me he would send me 10 thousand rubles.”
Despite receiving the money (approximately £110) for a one-way ticket, she never showed up in Syria. Instead, Maryam blocked the recruiter from contacting her online.
Noticing the opportunity, she gathered other women to con the militants for money, scamming the recruiters out of 200,000 rubles (£2,100).
But the trio has now been detained in Russia after security services monitored their activity online.
Explaining the modus operandi of IS recruiters, Valery Zolotaryov from the Centre for Combating Extremism government agency told Russian newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolets that “IS recruiters never buy the ticket personally for their targets because they would be easily spotted, instead they send money through e-wallets.”
The article originally appeared on The Independent