Yusra Ismail

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Somali-American Yusra Ismail with one count of misusing a stolen passport on December 2, 2014. Ismail allegedly used the stolen passport to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Her last confirmed contact with her family was a call she made from the Netherlands on August 24, 2014, allegedly while en route to Syria.“Minnesota Woman Charged With Stealing Passport To Travel To Syria,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, December 2, 2014, http://www.justice.gov/usao/mn/yursaismailcomplaint.html. It is unconfirmed whether she is currently in Syria, but authorities have stated that records cannot confirm if she has returned the United States since her departure.John Hall,“ Somali-American woman, 20, 'stole friend's passport and used it to travel to Syria where she joined ISIS terrorists',” Daily Mail (London), December 2, 2014, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2858322/Minnesota-woman-charged-stealing-passport-Syria.html.

Ismail is a 2013 graduate of Lighthouse Academy, a charter school in Minneapolis. Interviews with school officials reveal a quiet woman who was intent on memorizing the Quran.Laura Yuen, Mukhtar Ibrahim, Sasha Aslanian, “From MN suburbs, they set out to join ISIS,” MPR News, March 25, 2015, http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/03/25/minnesota-teens-isis.

Return to Full Database

Take action:

Help Counter Extremism

Stay updated on the latest

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On November 28, 2020, Boko Haram militants attacked farmers as they worked in the rice fields of Koshebe near the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri. Abubakar Shekau confirmed his faction was responsible for the massacre of 110 civilians.   

View Archive

CEP on Twitter