An Edmonton woman has been identified by intelligence officials as an alleged ISIS supporter and Al Shabaab member and who recruited a young Canadian to travel to Syria, Global News has learned.
Top Secret documents publicly disclosed in court, and obtained by Global News, also allege that Ayan Jama, 31, “has indicated a desire to attain martyrdom.” Instructions on how to build a bomb were found on her computer, according to the documents, which also allege she is “committed” to ISIS and “was/is a senior member” of Al Shabaab, the Somali terrorist group.
It was also revealed a year earlier that dozens of jihadis were walking free in Canada, yet authorities won’t charge them.
“She has participated in the recruitment and radicalization of a Canadian, whose eventual travel overseas to Syria was encouraged and partially financed by her,” according to the documents.
Her husband, Mohamed Sakr, was a “senior figure” in Al Shabaab (AS). He was stripped of British citizenship by U.K. authorities and killed in a 2012 drone strike. Despite the government’s allegations, Jama has not been charged with any terrorism offences. Her lawyer declined to comment, but the documents indicate she has denied any involvement in terrorism.
She continues to live in Edmonton but two sources said she had remarried and was working to turn her life around. The explosive allegations identify Jama as a returnee — someone who has come back to Canada after having participated in terrorist activities overseas.
The government says there are currently about 60 such people in the country. Few have faced charges. Internal government files have described the challenges of prosecuting them due to the difficulty of proving what they did outside Canada.
Concerns about Jama’s alleged past are detailed in government documents filed in a highly-secretive case before the Federal Court that centres on her attempt to renew her Canadian passport.
According to the documents, after visiting the Edmonton passport office Jama was informed she was being refused a new passport “to prevent the commission of a terrorist offence.”
She was also banned from possessing a passport for four years.The decision followed a Canadian Security Intelligence Service investigation into her alleged “threat-related activities.” Senior officials at CSIS, the RCMP and Public Safety Canada had recommended the commencement of refusal proceedings.
“Jama has a well-established association and support for AS, an organization which has made threats against targets in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Canada (including the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta),” according to the Top Secret report.
Born in the Somali capital Mogadishu, Jama is a 31-year-old Canadian citizen who left Toronto in May 2010 and made her way to Mogadishu, according to a summary of the classified information.She married Sakr and they lived in a region controlled by Al Shabaab, which has carried out scores of terrorist attacks in an attempt to impose its extremist version of Islamic law in the East African country. It has killed several Canadians. Sakr was a childhood friend of Mohammed Enzawi, a British extremist known as Jihadi John who appeared in ISIS execution videos.
“However, Ms. Jama claimed that neither she nor her husband were involved with AS,” according to the court file, which was heavily redacted prior to being publicly released.