Quebec woman returned from ISIS detention camp in northeastern Syria granted bail

MONTREAL — A Quebec woman facing terrorism charges after returning to Canada from a detention camp in northeastern Syria last October has been granted bail.

The details of Oumaima Chouay's bail hearing or the reasons for her release Friday by a Quebec court judge are under a publication ban.

Chouay, 27, is charged with leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group, participating in the activity of a terrorist group, providing property or services for terrorism purposes and conspiracy to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.

The RCMP arrested her in October at Montreal's international airport after she arrived from a camp for ISIS detainees in Syria with her two children and another Canadian woman, Kimberly Polman of British Columbia.

The transfer was organized by Global Affairs Canada with assistance from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the United States.

On Friday, Chouay listened carefully from the dock as Quebec court Judge Marie Kettlyne Ruben rendered her decision.

She was released on several conditions, including that she wear a GPS tracking bracelet, refrain from using any form of social media and report to police once a month. A family member must also put up $5,000 to ensure her presence in court, and she is forbidden from speaking to several potential witnesses.

The RCMP said Chouay had been the subject of an investigation since November 2014 by the force's national security enforcement team.

The police force said during a news conference after her return that in November 2017, Chouay was taken prisoner by the Syrian Democratic Forces and held with her children at the Roj camp for foreign nationals, in a region recaptured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Chouay's case returns to court for a formality hearing in March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press