An 8-year-old girl from Tennessee has been rescued from an ISIS-related holding camp in northern Syria after a successful raid and is currently waiting for a decision regarding her potential return to the United States.
Aminah Mohamad, who was born in December 2011 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to an American mother and a Swedish father, left the country with her parents in 2014 when they both signed up to fight for the ISIS terrorist organisation.
After Syrian forces began to retake land claimed by ISIS, Aminah was taken to a Kurdish-controlled detention camp for supporters of the Islamic State and anyone who holds connections with the Islamic State, before being recused on July 17th after an American diplomat caught wind of her story.
Aminah was born to American-native Ariel Bradley, who lived in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and grew up as an evangelical Christian.
According to the Herald-Sun, Bradley homeschooled her daughter on a curriculum that was based around the teachings of the Pentecostal Church of God.
However, as Bradley got older, she began to detest religion, becoming an atheist and labeling the concept of religion as a “delusion.”
Bradley then dedicated most of her time to social activism in the United States, protesting for racial equality, teacher’s rights, and fair housing prices.
She also served as a volunteer worker to help the homeless in her home state.
Bradley then developed a crush for a Muslim man which led her to dress more modestly, making new Muslim friends before eventually converting to the religion of Islam in 2011.
It was in this year that she met Aminah’s father, Yasin Mohamad, a Swedish Muslim.
The pair met on a dating app, before she traveled to Sweden to meet, which is when she became pregnant with Aminah.
She returned home to the United States to give birth before she relocated with her daughter back to Sweden to live with Mohamad.
The couple then joined ISIS when they moved to Syria in 2014.
According to Buzzfeed, Bradley would document the family’s activities on social media, until Mohamad was killed in an airstrike in 2015.
Bradley then remarried another Muslim man; Tareq Kamleh, a devout follower who originated from Australia.
The pair were eventually killed in an airstrike in 2018, leaving Aminah to become an orphan.
She eventually ended up in the care of one of Kamleh’s other wives.
Aminah was rescued on July 17th of this year, after the detention camp she was staying in was raided by SDF forces to retrieve Aminah and a Canadian woman who had made the US aware of Aminah’s presence in the camp.
US diplomat Peter Galbraith, who had worked in the US government dealing with Kurdish forces, moved heaven and earth to free Aminah after he stated to US media that he “couldn’t just leave her there.”
This comes after the diplomat began working three years ago on this very issue, attempting to repatriate women and children who were being held in Kurdish camps.
According to Buzzfeed, the Canadian woman who gave the tip was rescued and sent to a secure location in Iraq whilst she waits to be repatriated to her home country, whilst Aminah is being held in a secure location in northern Syria as she waits for confirmation of her return to the United States.
The media outlet also states that Aminah still has family back in Tennessee, so it is likely she will return home upon the state’s decision.
It is unclear what actually happened in the raid, and if any lives were lost in the process.