Kimberly Gwen Polman

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Kimberly Gwen Polman
Born Hamilton, Ontario
Nationality Canada-United States

Kimberly Gwen Polman is a joint Canadian-American citizen, who traveled to Daesh territory in 2015, and married an islamic militant she had befriended, online.[1][2][3] In 2019, after she surrendered to forces allied to the United States, Polman told reporters she deeply regretted her actions.[4]

Polman's mother is American, and her father Canadian. She was raised as a Reformed Mennonite, but later converted to Islam.[1]

Polman told her family she was traveling to Austria, for work.[1] She had been studying nursing, and her online penpal, Abu Ayman, told her her nursing skills were needed.

Polman travelled from Vancouver to Istanbul, on her US passport.[1] The Soroptimist International issued her a Women's Opportunity Award in 2011.[5] Her citation said she was working on a diploma in Legal Administration, and planned to work as a childrens advocate.[6]

Polman says she had grown disenchanted with Daesh by 2016, and tried to escape.[1] She says she was captured, and imprisoned, in Raqqa, where she endured brutal interrogation, and rape.[2]

Polman is currently being held in the al-hawl refugee camp in Syria, where she is held with another American woman Hoda Muthana.[7]

Polman left three adult children in Canada when she traveled to Istanbul.[8] Polman's siblings told The New York Times that she had had a hard life, and that they had been unable to help her.[9]

Howard Eisenberg, an immigration lawyer in Polman's home town, told local reporters for CHCH-TV that he anticipates her struggle to return to Hamilton to be a long one.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Natalie Musumeci (2019-02-20). "Another ISIS bride pleading to come home to US or Canada". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "A dual citizen of the US and Canada, who left the Great White North four years ago to join ISIS, is holed up in a refugee camp in Syria with the Alabama “ISIS bride” — and pleading to return home, according to a report." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Canadian woman who left to join ISIS in Syria wants to come home". 2019-02-21. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "The woman claims she tried to escape the camp a year after her arrival. She said she was captured, imprisoned, interrogated and raped." 
  3. Kelly McLaughlin (2019-02-19). "ISIS brides from Canada, the US, and Europe are asking to return home years after fleeing for Syria. Here are their stories.". This is insider. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "Polman told The Times she wasn't interested in the violent crimes ISIS participated in, and didn't know what to believe was real." 
  4. "An American ISIS Militant Wife Who Left For Syria Now Wants To Come Back Home". News World India. 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "Kimberly Gwen Polman, who possess dual citizenship of the United States and Canadian. Both women, interviewed by The New York Times at the camp, said they were trying to figure out how to have their passports reissued, and how to win the sympathy of the two nations they scorned." 
  5. Charlie Smith (2019-02-20). "Former Vancouver-area woman travelled abroad to marry ISIS member, according to New York Times". Georgia Straight. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "The New York Times reported that Kimberly Gwen Polman, 46, married an Islamic State fighter whom she met online." 
  6. "11th annual Women's Recognition Awards". Tri-city News: p. 14. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "Kimberly Polman - Single mom of three children is currently a student at Douglas College working on her Legal Administration Diploma. Her ultimate goal is to work as a child advocate." 
  7. Kim Hjelmgaard, Michael Collins (2019-02-19). "President Trump: ISIS wife Hoda Muthana won't be allowed to return to the United States". USA Today. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "All were taken into custody. Muthana may be the first American spouse or partner of an Islamic State fighter who has sought to return home. The New York Times has reported that another woman, dual U.S.-Canadian national Kimberly Gwen Polman, 46, is also in the al-hawl refugee camp in Syria. She left Canada in 2015." 
  8. Rukmini Callimachi, Catherine Porter (2019-02-19). "2 American Wives of ISIS Militants Want to Return Home". The New York Times (al Hawl Camp, Syria): p. A1. Retrieved 2019-02-20. "Ms. Muthana and Ms. Polman acknowledged in the interview here that many Americans would question whether they deserved to be brought back home after joining one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups." 
  9. Rukmini Callimachi, Catherine Porter, Carmela Fragomeni (2019-02-20). "Hamilton-born ISIL bride wants to come home". The Hamilton Spectator (al Hawl Camp, Syria). Retrieved 2019-02-20. "Kimberly Gwen Polman, 46, surrendered last month to coalition forces fighting ISIL and is detained in a camp in northeastern Syria, along with an Alabama woman, Hodan Muthana." 
  10. "Hamilton-born woman who joined ISIS wants to come home". CHCH-TV. 2019-20-21. Retrieved 2019-02-22. "Hamilton immigration lawyer Howard Eisenberg says Polman’s journey back to Canada could be a very lengthy one and it would begin by the Canadian government either revoking her Canadian passport or denying her application for a new one."