B.C. woman arrested on two terrorism charges linked to ISIS

B.C. woman arrested on two terrorism charges linked to ISIS
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns
The B.C. RCMP Divisional Headquarters is seen, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.

A B.C. woman has been arrested on two terrorism charges, RCMP announced Saturday.

Fifty-one-year-old Kimberly Polman, of Squamish, was arrested on July 5 for two offences, “leaving Canada to participate in activities of terrorist group” and “participation in activity of terrorist group,” according to RCMP.

Mounties say the charges come after Polman left Canada in 2015 to allegedly join ISIS in Syria.

Polman and another woman were returned to Canada in October 2022 from a detention camp in Syria that is holding mostly women and children who were rounded up after the fall of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida splinter group.

She was arrested on her return to Canada but had been out on bail prior to last year’s bond decision.

Since Nov. 7, 2023, she has been on conditions placed through a terrorism peace bond, according to RCMP.

The peace bond imposed on Polman included several conditions, including reporting to a parole officer, remaining at her home in Squamish and wearing electronic supervision equipment.

The order also included conditions that Polman have no contact with several people, such as her ex-husband, that she have no access to driving a vehicle except an electronic bike and that she not communicate with anyone suspected to be involved in terrorism.

“The success of this investigation is directly attributable to the work done by our dedicated investigators and the strength of our policing and intelligence partnerships,” said Supt. Jag Dhot with the Pacific Region RCMP Federal Policing Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET).

“Along with our Canadian and international partners, the RCMP remains committed to combatting violent extremism both in Canada and abroad,” he said.

Oumaima Chouay, who returned to Canada at the same time as Polman, was granted bail in January in Quebec after being charged with leaving the country to participate in the activity of a terrorist group, providing property or services for terrorism purposes and conspiracy to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.

The return of Polman and Chouay was organized by Global Affairs Canada, with assistance from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the United States.

Another four Canadian women and 10 children landed in Montreal in April after being held for years at a prison camp in Syria. Three of the women were arrested upon arrival, while the fourth was not detained.

Polman’s next court appearance is at Vancouver Provincial Court on Aug. 2.

None of the charges against her have been proven in court.

Mounties say anyone with “information on terrorism or related suspicious activity” can contact the National Security Information Network at 1-800-420-5805, or report it online.

Tips can also be sent to local police.

“Policing partners, local communities and families are all key in the successful identification, prevention and disruption of terrorist activities, as well as individual disengagement from violent extremism,” said Dhot.

Mounties say they will not share further details since the matter is now before the courts.

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