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Former Islamic State member released on bail to live in Chilliwack

Kimberly Polman will live with her sister and she will have to adhere to 25 conditions
Federal prosecutor Ryan Carrier outside the Chilliwack Law Courts Thursday (Oct. 27), moments after the conclusion of Kimberly Polman’s bail hearing. (Eric Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

A woman who left Canada and spent several years with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization is back in the country and will be living in Chilliwack.

Kimberly Polman was at the Chilliwack courthouse Thursday (Oct. 27), facing strict conditions for her release.

Polman, who until recently was living in a Syrian detention camp, will face 25 restrictions as part of a bail agreement before Judge Kristen Mundstock.

The 46-year-old will live with her sister in Chilliwack.

Restrictions include the wearing of an electronic monitoring bracelet, and having her home outfitted with electronic GPS supervision equipment. A police officer will be able to knock on her door at any time to make sure she is where she’s supposed to be.

Polman will have a curfew. She won’t be allowed to use a computer, phone or other device allowing her access to the internet and electronic social media/communication platforms. She has restrictions on who she’s allowed to be in contact with, and she will not be permitted to drive a vehicle.

She can’t carry knife, firearm, crossbow or any explosive substance.

RELATED: Sick B.C. woman returning after 6 years in Syria faces peace bond

RELATED: After Islamic State’s fall, some women who joined plead to come home

Kimberly Polman left Canada in 2014 to join Islamic State. Eight years later she’s being repatriated, and she’ll be living in Chilliwack. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)
Kimberly Polman left Canada in 2014 to join Islamic State. Eight years later she’s being repatriated, and she’ll be living in Chilliwack. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

Polman was arrested around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning (Oct. 26) after arriving by plane in Montreal, and she was immediately sent on to Vancouver.

Polman left Canada in 2014. She ended up in Syria married to an ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) fighter and stayed with IS until 2019 when she surrendered herself to Syrian Democratic Forces.

“How could I have been so stupid, and so blind?” Polman told the Associated Press during a recent interview in Syria.

Polman is being repatriated while other Canadians remain in Syria because she claims to be in poor health. The camp she left is run by the same U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led forces that led the fight against IS. Home to some 73,000 people, it has been described as crammed and squalid.

According to Associated Press reporting, the al-Hol camp where Polman was held is full of ISIS supporters, but Polman insisted she was never an active member of IS, and the man she went to Syria to marry was not an IS fighter.

Nevertheless, part of her peace bond agreement will see her take de-radicalization training through Shift, a Surrey-based program funded by the federal government.

Federal prosecutor Ryan Carrier said the conditions address a “reasonable fear that Ms. Polman will commit a terrorist offence.”

He is satisfied with the outcome.

“I believe the judge imposed what I believe are reasonable conditions to address the fears set out by the RCMP in this matter,” Carrier noted. “You have to set out why you have a reasonable fear why a person might make a terrorism offence. That was the information before the judge and the judge had to make that decision.”

Polman has yet to be criminally charged, but Carrier said that may still be on the table.

Her activities are still being investigated.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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