From middle-class Aussie to IS bride…

Mahmoud Abdullatif (L) and Zehra Duman.

Mahmoud Abdullatif (L) and Zehra Duman.

Quietly — almost secretly — Zehra Duman morphed from private school student to Islamic State bride and online recruiter for the movement. Her family did not see it coming.

So when the 21-year-old Turkish-Australian gave up her middle-class life in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, for faraway Raqqa, the Islamic State movement’s center in war-ravaged Syria, the people who knew her were astonished.

“We did not notice any extremist tendencies in her behavior,” Saniye Coskundag, acting principal of Sirius College’s Keysborough campus, said.

“She’s been brainwashed, she wasn’t like this three or four months ago,” her father Davut Duman told Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper in an article published Dec. 28.

By then, Duman was wed to Islamic State soldier Mahmoud Abdullatif, 23, who reportedly left his own Melbourne home last year. The couple announced their wedding online on Dec. 11, with a photograph of her dowry that included an assault rifle.

Now calling herself Zehra Abdullatif or Umm (“Mother“) Abdullatif, the Muslim fighter’s wife told her online followers her parents had no clue she would elope to Islamic State.

“They were shocked, as I never have been public with my jihadi views. But also heartbroken, as my mum was very close to me … and she knows she will never see me again,” she said on her now suspended page. She has answered questions on social media for “wannabe jihadi brides,” and urged both men and women sympathizers who do not come to the Middle East to wage war at home.

When asked on Twitter what she missed about Australia, Duman’s reply was simple and numeric: “0”


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