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.