Three young women from Chechnya, in southeastern Europe, have allegedly conned cold hard cash out of one of the world’s most prominent terror organisations.
According to reports, the women allegedly scammed $3300 from Islamic State (IS) after the terror group contacted them on social media.
Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim country and a subject of Russia, with religious followers overwhelmingly adhering to Sunni Islam.
There are long-standing tensions between Chechenya and Russia, which has contributed to the country becoming a target for the terror group.
IS is well-known for its use of social media to find new recruits, but it is a tactic, in this instance, that seems to have been turned on its head.
Meeting IS recruiters online using fake social media accounts, the women allegedly promised to join the organisation’s cause in the Middle East once they had the travel funds.
But once the money was sent via anonymous electronic money transfers, social media accounts were deleted and the money simply disappeared.
Chechen police, Russia Today has reported, have now detained the women.
“I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction,” Chechen police E unit’s Valery Zolotaryov told Russia Today.
“Anyhow, I don’t advise anyone to communicate with dangerous criminals, especially for grabbing quick money.”
Australia has recently faced the question of whether to allow Australian IS fighters to return home.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott quickly quashed any talk of deradicalisation.
“If you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided fundamental extremism, if you go abroad to be an Islamist killer, well we are hardly going to welcome you back into this country,” Mr Abbott said in May.