In July, on a closed Russian language Telegram chat for female Islamic State members detained in camps in Syria, the following advertisement was posted: “Sisters from Uzbekistan, please get in touch with me about assisting with repatriation. I, alhamdullilan, can assure you that there are no problems for [people of] our religion here [in Uzbekistan].”
The woman behind the post is a member of the Islamic State who recently returned to Uzbekistan from Syria. She says she is now helping her sisters get repatriated to Uzbekistan and trying hard to persuade Islamic State members in the camp to come home.
One of her main arguments for returning to Uzbekistan is that under no circumstances is anyone arrested when they return. “I went through several [Islamic State] military trainings, was myself fighting and was wearing a suicide vest,” she said. “I told all that to security services, and I had no problems—I am home free.”