Report: ISIS kidnaps Canadian-Israeli, former IDF soldier who went to fight with the Kurds
By YOSSI MELMAN/ 11/30/2014.J.Post
Uncertainty abounds concerning the fate of Israeli-Canadian Gill Rosenberg, who was reportedly captured by Islamic State.
Islamist websites – some of them known to be close to, or even serving as a front for, the terrorist organization – reported Sunday that the 31-year-old adventurer was captured during fierce battles with Kurdish fighters in unspecified areas.
According to the websites, Rosenberg was taken hostage following three suicide attacks on sites where Kurdish fighters had barricaded themselves.
The websites gave no further details regarding the circumstances of the capture, nor provided any proof of it.
The Islamic State claims do not make clear whether Rosenberg was captured in Iraq or in Syria. The main battlefield between the Kurds and Islamic State is in the Syrian- Turkish border town of Kobani.
Kurdish sources approached by Israel Radio reporter Eran Cicurel expressed doubt over the Islamic State report. They said Rosenberg was not in Kobani. In the assessment of these Kurdish sources, the reports of Rosenberg’s capture are probably the terrorists’ propaganda.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) told The Jerusalem Post that “there are no further details at this stage.”
Rosenberg wrote on her Facebook page on November 20 that she was handing over management of her account to “someone else” and would be without Internet access for at least two weeks, until December 8, she wrote. It is not clear where she went at this time.
If the websites’ reports are true, Rosenberg would be the first confirmed Western female to fall into Islamic State captivity. Holding Israeli citizenship would complicate her situation even further.
Unlike the US and the UK, which refused to negotiate over their respective captured nationals, thus giving the impression of a laissez-faire interest, Israel invests intense concern into the fate of its citizens captured by terrorists.
This does not mean Israel will negotiate for Rosenberg, if she has indeed been captured – or that Islamic State would agree to talk with Israel, making her nationality Canadian alone.
If Rosenberg is in captivity, she would be the second Israeli – of dual nationality – in this position. Steven Sotloff, a freelance American journalist who also held Israeli citizenship and filed for The Jerusalem Report on the Syrian civil war, was captured by Islamic State last year shortly after crossing the Syrian border and beheaded by the Islamist group this past August.
As well, Rosenberg breached Israeli law by flying to Iraq, an enemy country, which Israeli citizens are forbidden to enter.
No matter what has happened to her since joining the Kurdish forces, upon return to Israel she will be arrested and prosecuted, as was the case of several Israeli Arabs who joined Islamic State and subsequently returned to Israel.
This is not Rosenberg’s first tryst with adventurism – in 2009 she was arrested in an American con scandal and sentenced to four years in jail. This is, however, her first serious willful encounter with death.
Rosenberg was born in Vancouver, and experienced a family crisis after her parents divorced. In an interview with Ma’ariv in 2009, she said that already at the age of 22 she was pursuing a promising career as a pilot of Boeing passenger planes, but decided to leave everything behind and immigrate in 2006. In Israel, she joined the IDF, serving as an instructor for Kenyan soldiers who came to Israel for home front search and rescue training.
Rosenberg said she had ambitions to join the Mossad, but was hurt during her military training and afterwards had money problems.
She met an American friend in an ulpan Hebrew language course who led her into crime, she said.
She joined a group of Israelis who were accused of setting up a ring to cheat elderly Americans and steal their money through a fake lottery scheme. According to the indictments filed against them, they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even millions, from the unknowing pensioners.
After a number of complaints were filed, a joint Israel Police and FBI investigation was launched. The probe led to the arrest of several suspects and their extradition to the US, where they were tried. Rosenberg served four years in jail.
She may have decided to fulfill an act of redemption after getting out of jail and regaining her freedom.
Hopefully the Kurdish sources are right, and Rosenberg is indeed far from executioners.
Canada is trying to confirm reports that Rosenberg has been captured, a foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday.
“Canada is pursuing all appropriate channels” to seek further information and is in touch with local authorities, the spokesman said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.
داعش يأسر الجندية جيل روزنبرج، الشابة الكندية – الإسرائيلية المتطوعة مع الأكراد
مصادر في تل أبيب: هذا ما كنا نخشاه ونفضل عدم التعليق حتى لا نعرض حياتها للخطر
تل أبيب: «الشرق الأوسط»
قالت مصادر إسرائيلية شبه رسمية بأنها تتابع الأنباء التي تحدثت، أمس، عن أسر الجندية جيل روزنبرج، الشابة الكندية – الإسرائيلية التي خدمت في الجيش الإسرائيلي وانضمّت مؤخرا إلى صفوف المقاتلين الأكراد في سوريا. ونفت هذه المصادر أن تكون لديها معلومات مؤكدة عن أسرها، وقالت: إنها تفضل الامتناع عن إطلاق تصريحات في هذه المرحلة سعيا وراء الحفاظ على حياتها.
وكانت مواقع عربية مختلفة، بينها مواقع مقربة من داعش، قد ذكرت أن عناصر داعش نفذت 3 عمليات انتحارية ضدّ نقاط تمركز للقوات الكردية. وأنهم أسروا عددا من المقاتلين والمقاتلات الكرديات بعد سيطرتهم على أحد الأحياء في كوباني، بينهم شابة إسرائيلية.
وقد فقد الاتصال بالشابة الإسرائيلية الكندية بعد هذه العمليات مما رجح الاعتقاد بأنها وقعت في الأسر. وفي أول تعليق لمسؤول إسرائيلي، قال: «هذا ما كنا نخشاه، عندما ظهرت في الإعلام وراحت تتباهى بأنها تجندت للحرب ضد داعش، في تضامن مع الأكراد».
وكانت الشابة قد وصلت إلى أربيل ومنها إلى سوريا، في مطلع الشهر معلنة أنها ستسخر خبرتها القتالية في صفوف الجيش الإسرائيلي لمناصرة الأكراد، الذين يعيشون في أوضاع شبيهة بأوضاع اليهود. واجتازت عملية تأهيل قبل بداية القتال. فالتقت مع مقاتلات كرديات للتعرف على المناطق الجغرافية والطوبوغرافية وأيضا من أجل أن تنقل إليهنّ من خبرتها في الجيش الإسرائيلي. وقد قالت: إن سبب هذه الخطوة الاستثنائية هو «لأنهم إخوتنا، أشخاص طيبون يحبون الحياة مثلنا تماما». وفي حينه كتبت جيل: «في الجيش الإسرائيلي نقول (اتبعوني)، تعالوا نرى ماذا يعني ذلك لداعش».
وجيل روزنبرج احتفلت في الشهر الماضي بذكرى يوم ميلادها الـ31. وشكرت أصدقاءها الكثر في الشبكة الاجتماعية على التبريكات الدافئة التي أمطروها بها. «تذكّروا، الحياة جميلة»، كتبت لهم. وقالت في الرسالة الأخيرة التي كتبتها في صفحتها «فيسبوك» قبل 10 أيام: «صفحة (فيسبوك) الخاصة بي وطلبات الصداقة تدار من قبل شخص آخر حتى أتمكن من الوصول للشبكة، في غضون أسبوعين تقريبا، في 8 ديسمبر (كانون الأول) تقريبا. أرجو عدم كتابة رسائل لي، لأنّ هذه ليست أنا».
Report: Israeli-Canadian woman, Gill Rosenberg fighting Islamic State has been kidnapped by terror group
Published: 11.30.14/Israel News
Online reports in jihadi and Palestinian forums claim Gill Rosenberg was captured by Islamic State group in embattled town of Kobani.
Gill Rosenberg, the Israeli-Canadian who joined Kurdish forces in their battles against the radical Islamic State terror group has been reportedly taken captive by the group, unconfirmed reports claimed.
The reports began surfacing on jihadi and Palestinian social media and forums, and claims Rosenberg was taken while fighting with the Peshmerga forces in Kobani, Syria.
Rosenberg, 31, is a civil aviation pilot who enlisted in an Israeli army search-and-rescue unit before being arrested in 2009, extradited to the United States and jailed over an international phone scam, one of her former lawyers said.
Gill’s story was first reported by Israeli radio. She recounted how smugglers helped her cross from Iraq into Syria in order to join the Kurdish ranks. “They (the Kurds) are our brothers. They are good people. They love life, a lot like us, really,” Rosenberg said, explaining why she joined up after contacting the guerrillas over the Internet.
Rosenberg said that she had made contact with the Kurds through Facebook, asking them to allow her to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, commonly known as the YPG.
Rosenberg immigrated to Israel from Canada in 2006, after studying at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and left behind a promising career as a pilot of Boeing planes for civilian airlines.
On her Facebook page, Rosenberg shared her plans for her mission in Syria two months in advance, when she uploaded a picture from Jerusalem showing an Israeli flag next to an Islamic State flag, and continued posting images until her November 1, her final day in Israel.
She then promised to upload pictures of herself wearing the uniform of the Kurdish forces. “As soon as the tailor finishes customizing my uniform, I’ll post the pictures,” she wrote. The next day, she posted a picture of her red boots. “It’s been a long time, but it feels great to wear them again.”
She later posted pictures from Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, and then from Erbil International Airport in Kurdistan. On November 9, she uploaded images from the Kurdish region of Syria and wrote, “In the IDF (Israeli army), we say ‘aharai’, After Me. Let’s show ISIS (Islamic State) what that means.” A friend wrote, “Take care of yourself, friend. You are one strong woman, and you’ll destroy the Islamic State.”
A source in the Kurdistan region with knowledge of the issue said Rosenberg was the first foreign woman to join YPG, the Kurds’ dominant fighting force in northern Syria. She has crossed into Syria and is one of around 10 Westerners recruited by YPG, the source said.
Rosenberg could not be reached by Reuters for comment. A source provided an Iraqi Kurdistan cellphone number for her, but it was turned off on Tuesday.
Michal Margalit contributed to this report