In a very novel form of counterterrorism, three young Chechen women are facing charges for scamming ISIS fighters out of thousands of dollars on social media.
ISIS primarily recruits new members through social media, and the girls’ scam was simple: They found men (or in some cases, were found by men) on different networking sites, traded pictures and accepted the money the men sent them, ostensibly to make the journey to Syria. Then they deleted their accounts and started the process over, managing to swindle the Islamic State out of $3,300 before being caught.
Fraud still being fraud, though, the women are now facing charges that range from fines to actual jail time. “I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction,” policeman Valery Zolotaryov told Moskovskii Komsomolets. “Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money.”
“Many people I know did go [to join ISIS],” one of the women told Russian tabloid Life News, “but I know no one for whom it turned out well.”