A woman who travelled to Syria to join ISIS from Canada could face a terrorism peace bond as a Calgary court mulls her fate now that she has arrived back into the country.
The woman, who is only known as S.A. in court documents due to an ongoing publication ban, travelled to Syria in 2014 where she eventually partnered with ISIS.
S.A. was able to secure her release from a prison camp for former ISIS militants and their associates this week and landed in Alberta where she was summarily arrested by RCMP officials.
Prosecutors have not yet laid criminal charges against S.A. but are seeking to have a terrorism peace bond applied, which acknowledges that there are reasonable grounds that she may commit a terror offence. The bond would also make her abide by certain conditions agreed upon in court.
“Certainly charges could be brought against someone who travelled to participate in ISIS in Syria,” University of Calgary law professor Michael Nesbitt told CBC News.
“The flip side if you have someone who is rehabilitated, who is repentant, who doesn’t appear to be a risk other than the fact that they’ve shown a proclivity in the past toward this, then jail time and a prosecution particularly where the outcome is uncertain … it seems like a compromise for everyone involved.”
Prior to being freed, S.A. lived in a northeast Syria camp for two years with her daughter. Earlier this year S.A.’s daughter was freed from the camp and allowed to come to Canada.
S.A. has claimed that she was “manipulated” to travel to join the terror group and that while there, she was a housewife and did not partake in militant activities.
According to Public Safety Canada, there are an estimated 250 Canadian Extremist Travellers (CETs) who have went abroad to participate in terrorist activites, 190 of them still remain outside of Canada.
“Given the risk of death or capture by other armed groups and possible lack of valid travel documents and funds with which to travel, only a limited number of CETs from this conflict zone have successfully returned to Canada,” claimed Public Safety Canada.
“Despite significant challenges CETs face in the conflict zone, many—both male and female—remain committed to extremist ideologies and may desire to leave the region if circumstances on the ground permit.”