1The Austrian teens who were used as sex slaves and killed after joining ISIS
An Austrian teen who ran away to join the Islamic State is alleged to have been used as a sex slave for new fighters before being beaten to death when she tried to escape.
Friends Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, disappeared from their homes in 2014, leaving a note for their families which read: “Don't look for us. We will serve Allah, and we will die for him.” They landed in Syria where they were believed to be immediately married, pregnant, and living in the IS-controlled city of Rakka.
The girls quickly realized their mistake and wanted to come home. Austrian newspapers, citing insider sources and an interview with a Tunisian woman who lived with the pair before escaping, reported Samra had tried to flee several times. After her last attempt, she had been beaten with a hammer so severely that she died from her injuries. Soon after, Sabina was also reported to have been killed during fighting in the jihadi stronghold of Al-Raqqah.
2The bridge collapse survivor who used his settlement money to join ISIS
In 2007, Mohamed Roble was a few weeks shy of his 11th birthday when the school bus he was riding on plummeted about 30 feet down as the I-35 bridge collapsed over the Saint Anthony Falls of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.
The collapse killed 13 people and injured 145. Roble received more than $65,000 in compensation for his injuries — which included headaches, arm, neck and back pain, along with nightmares and PSTD — on his 18th birthday. Believing that "God had saved him for a purpose," he used his settlement money to travel to the Middle East and link up with ISIS. Roble is alleged to have made it to Syria and is handing out cash "like candy" and has been known to finance weddings and cars for fighters.
3The shy Australian teen who became a suicide bomber for the Islamic State
Australian teen Jake Bilardi has been described by his dad as a "shy and lonely boy" with "death wish." Bilardi is believed to have died in 2015 during a series of coordinated suicide bombings in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.
John Bilardi said he ignored his son's mental and psychological issues when he was a child. The youngest of six, Jake was a difficult child who didn't fit in; he craved attention and had several violent outbursts.
Following an acrimonious divorce, John lost touch with his kids, but reconnected with Jake soon after his ex-wife died. It was, however, too late — Jake, sullen and withdrawn, became radicalized by watching Islamic State propaganda on his laptop. He soon joined the fight in Syria, and became a poster boy for the terrorist group.
John Bilardi feels responsible for his son's actions. “The buck stops with me,” he said. “He was my son, I knew something wasn't right.”
4The Mississippi woman who planned to fake her honeymoon in an attempt to join ISIS
Jaelyn Young, an ex-cheerleader and honor student from Vicksburg, Mississippi, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for her plot to join ISIS.
Young had turned to Islam during an emotional crisis at Mississippi State University. She became radicalized and prodded fiance Muhammad Dakhlalla into traveling with her on a fake honeymoon to the Middle East. She contacted undercover FBI agents posing as ISIS members online in an attempt to join the group and secretly used credit cards to buy tickets to Istanbul for herself and Dakhlalla. He pleaded guilty on March 11 to a similar charge and is set to be sentenced August 24, 2016.
5The mother who left Belgium for a life with ISIS but escaped when it was "the opposite of what they promised"
Belgian Laura Passoni, 30, met her future husband, Osama Rayan, while working in a supermarket. They fell in love and left for Tunisia before eventually settling in Syria.
Once there, Laura was confined to the house to do the cleaning and cooking and was only allowed to leave when she was in the company of her husband. She quickly realized it was not a place she wanted to raise her children. While she was never treated violently, it was clear that she was a prisoner: "I was forbidden to do anything, I just had to take care of the home and children. I could not leave the house or use the Internet without the presence of a man. I started to become very afraid that they might take my children away. It was just the opposite of what they promised in the propaganda of the Caliphate."
Laura decided to make a break for it when it looked like her son might end up as a terrorist. She got access to a mobile phone and was able to communicate with her parents, but has refused to reveal details of how she escaped.
When she returned to Belgium, social workers removed her kids from her for three months and named their grandparents as guardians. Laura was sentenced to five years' probation and a fine of €15,000 (£11,800). She had also been banned from using social media.
6The ex-rocker who now leads an all-female contingent of ISIS
Brit Sally Jones (now known as Sakinah Hussain), a former rock singer, became radicalized after meeting her convicted computer hacker husband Junaid Hussain online. She left her 18-year-old son behind and sneaked into Syria at the end of 2013 with her younger son Jojo (renamed Hamza), 10.
Since then, Jones has posted a series of chilling threats on social networking sites. And in 2015, a video emerged which appears to show her leading an all-female contingent of ISIS in a series of chants expressing the fighters' commitment to jihad.
7The German rapper who was dubbed "the Goebbels of ISIS"
"The Goebbels of ISIS" German rapper Denis Cuspert (a.k.a., Deso Dogg), was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria in 2015.
Cuspert joined the Islamic state in 2012 and went on to appear in and produce numerous videos for the group, including one in which he appears holding a severed head. As one of their most high-profile Western fighters, he is also believed to be behind the footage of "Jihadi John" (Briton Mohammed Emwazi) beheading British and U.S. prisoners with a knife.
The FBI spied on Cuspert through his Syrian wife, who transmitted critical information about the rapper and his ISIS colleagues before escaping to Turkey, where she was arrested and then turned over to the U.S.
8The British teen who was too afraid to flee ISIS — and died in an airstrike
One of three teens who left Britain to join ISIS is believed to have died in an airstrike on Raqqa earlier this year.
Kadiza Sultana, 15, traveled to Turkey with friends Shamima Begum and Amira Abase to Syria. Once there, the girls were married to fighters approved by ISIS — two of the three were widows within months of their marriages. Sultana became disillusioned with her life in Syria (as with others on this list, it wasn't what she expected) and had been considering attempting to make her way back to Britain. However, the former student feared the dangers of such a plan failing were too high, and she felt she would be caught and publicly executed, a fate that befell an Austrian woman who tried to flee the terrorist organization.
While there is no evidence the lives of Shamima Begum and Amira Abase are in imminent danger, former IS commander Um Asmah said they "never" be allowed to return home, and are more likely to "die in Iraq or Syria."
9The former bouncy castle salesman who is now a member of ISIS
Siddhartha Dhar, a British jihadist featured in a recent ISIS murder video, is a convert from Hinduism who lived in East London. He was a fan of Arsenal soccer club and Nirvana, and once had a decidedly less nefarious career as a bouncy castle salesman.
In June 2016, he was identified by media as the spokesman in the militant organization's latest video which shows the killing of five men accused of being Western spies.
Dhar had been radicalized before leaving the U.K. While out on bail after his arrest on suspicion of belonging to a banned group and encouraging terrorism, he skipped town for Syria.
“I've grown up in the West, I've lived in the United Kingdom all my life, I've seen what democracy has to offer, and quite frankly it's quite oppressive,” Dhar explained in a YouTube video entitled “The beauty of the Shariah and the Caliphate.”
10The Swedish teen who joined ISIS but became homesick when she discovered it was a "hard life"
In February 2016 Marlin Stivani Nivarlain, 16, from Borås, Sweden, was rescued from Isis for the second time. She is one of the lucky ones.
Nivarlain dropped out of school at 14 after meeting her 19-year-old boyfriend online. She soon followed him to Mosul to join ISIS. It has been reported that she was pregnant at the time she had fled (the child's whereabouts are currently unknown).
The pair traveled across Europe by train and took a bus from Bulgaria to Turkey in May 2015. They then connected with ISIS members and crossed the border into Syria. There, Nivarlain and her boyfriend were given a house, but it lacked the basic necessities (i.e., water, electricity) that she had grown accustomed to in Sweden.
Soon, she was homesick. She was rescued in October 2015, but escaped and returned to her boyfriend. She was found again at the behest of Swedish authorities, who reached out to Kurdish forces in the search. They located her and brought her to the Kurdish city of Irbil.
Nivarlain's boyfriend has since been killed in an airstrike, and it is uncertain if she will face charges in Sweden.