Rare insight

Seized laptop offers glimpse into mind of ISIS bride

A woman in Raqqa, Syria. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A laptop seized in Raqqa is providing rare insight into the interests, fears and ideology of a young woman who fled her home in Europe to join ISIS.

The computer belonged to a Belgian woman of Moroccan descent who was living in Raqqa, the Syrian city that Syrian Kurdish forces said they reclaimed from ISIS control early on Tuesday. The woman was captured and is currently being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces. Ahrar al-Furat, a resistance group operating in ISIS territory, took her hard drive, which was then passed on to The Daily Beast.

Much of the hard drive’s contents are unsurprising. There are PDFs of religious literature linked to the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood, lectures by jihadist clerics, and searches for all matters pertaining to the Islamic State: the group’s hymns, the terrorist attacks in Barcelona, the prosecution of Europeans who sought to join the militant group.

But there were other, more mundane matters on her mind. The woman browsed the internet for baking recipes. She downloaded Pirates of the Caribbean and searched for “top movies 2016 comedy.” She also appears to have downloaded more than a terabyte of pornography.

The woman’s search history suggests that she was well aware that ISIS was losing control of its stronghold in Raqqa. She appears to have obsessively watched YouTube footage of American gunships attacking Taliban posts in Afghanistan. “They almost serve as an attempt to re-confirm her radicalization, and re-justify her beliefs,” the Beast writes. She also searched “what do ypg do with isis terrorist” — a reference to the Kurdish militia of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which would soon take her captive.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.


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