How a Russian couple looking to join ISIS in Syria ran out of luck in Turkey
A Russian couple and two children were detained in Turkey for attempting to cross into Syria to join ISIS. The woman was identified as 24-year-old Svetlana Ukhanova and the man as Yevgeny Kochaari.
According to Russian media reports, Ukhanova was recruited by ISIS while she was in Russia and she filed for divorce from her first husband in 2013 and married an extremist, Kochaari.
She and Kochaari and her children headed to Turkey to join the terrorist group in Syria two weeks ago before the authorities detained them. Ukhanova has two daughters, Lisa who is 6 years old and is from her first husband, and Amina who is 18 months old from her second husband.
She and her husband used forged passports in their attempt to enter Syria and they are now under detention in Turkey. They will be deported to Russia next week or to Azerbaijan which is her second husband’s home.
Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that Turkish intelligence communicated with its Russian counterpart to gather information about the recruitment group, which radicalized Ukhanova and other Russians and figure out who is communicating with them from inside Syria.
Another Russian news website Meduza reported that Ukhanova sent her ex-husband a message telling him not to search for her and Lisa. However, he and his parents traveled to Turkey to try and find his daughter.
They found Ukhanova before she and the others crossed into Syria and they informed the Turkish authorities of her plan and she was thus detained.
According to the report, Ukhanova wore the hijab (head veil) and lived a pious life after she married her second husband and converted to Islam.
Her neighbors and former acquaintances said she got rid of the television at home, stopped using the computer for entertainment and closed all her social media accounts. She and her husband and two daughters moved to Turkey in June to later join ISIS in Syria by sneaking there.
Russian website Saratov.kp.ru published photos of Ukhanova before her divorce from her first husband. One of the photos is from her first wedding.
This article is also available in Arabic.