An 8-year-old, U.S.-born girl whose parents joined ISIS was rescued from a Syrian camp and is awaiting approval to return back to the U.S.
“She clearly self-identified as Aminah and talked about her family with deep sadness,” said Anne Speckhard, after the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism interviewed the rescued girl named Aminah Mohamad on Saturday, according to BuzzFeed.
The young girl was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2011 and lived under ISIS rule since 2014, before she was sent to a Kurdish-controlled detention camp and then rescued on July 17.
Speckhard added that the girl “doesn’t have a clear context as to where she is from,” and needs “a safe, predictable and loving environment to replace the traumatic one (she) lived under.”
Her American mother, Ariel Bradley, was an evangelical Christian who joined ISIS and married the girl’s father Yasin Mohamad, a Swedish Muslim, in 2011. Bradley gave birth to her daughter in the United States, before going back to Sweden and eventually relocating to Syria.
Both of the parents are now deceased, with Mohamad dying in an airstrike some time after June 2015 and Bradley dying in an airstrike in late 2018.
The girl is now in a secure location in northeast Syria, which was made possible by former U.S. diplomat Peter Galbraith, as well as a Canadian woman who met Bradley while living under ISIS. The Canadian woman has since denounced the terrorist organization.
“Children in the camps have the worst start to life,” the unidentified Canadian woman said, according to BuzzFeed. “They are already traumatized by losing one or more parents and growing up around violence, poverty and misery.”
“They deal with constant danger, lack of food, lack of education, and their lives are simply going to waste,” she said.
Galbraith said that once he learned of the young girl in Syria, he “couldn’t just leave her there if it was possible to get her out.”
The State Department would not confirm to Buzzfeed if they are involved with returning the girl to the U.S., and a State Department spokesperson told Fox News that the U.S. has repatriated 12 adult citizens and 16 U.S. citizen minors from Syria and Iraq.
Ten of the 12 adult citizens were charged with federal criminal charges by the Department of Justice, the spokesperson added.