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U.S. Repatriates 11 American Citizens From ISIS War Camps in Syria

WorldU.S. Repatriates 11 American Citizens From ISIS War Camps in Syria

The Biden administration has repatriated a family of 10 American citizens who had been stranded for years in desert camps and detention centers in Syria run by a Kurdish-led militia that battled the Islamic State, according to officials.

The government also brought to the United States a pair of half brothers — only one of whom, said to be 7, is an American citizen. The resettlement of the other boy, who is said to be 9, is the first time the United States has taken in someone from the war zone who is not an American national.

The government announced the early Tuesday transfer in a statement from Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, who said there had been a “complex repatriation and resettlement” involving 11 American citizens, five of whom were minors, and the “9-year-old non-U.S.-citizen sibling of one of the U.S. citizen minors.”

He added, “This is the largest single repatriation of U.S. citizens from northeast Syria to date.”

The statement announcing the transfer did not identify the 12 people. But two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details, said 10 were a family The New York Times had reported on in September, consisting of a woman named Brandy Salman and her nine American-born children, ranging from about 6 to about 25.

The other two, the officials said, are the sons — one biological and one adopted — of a man named Abdelhamid Al-Madioum, who was repatriated in 2020 and has pleaded guilty to charges of supporting terrorism. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported this month that his two young sons had been found and would soon arrive in Minnesota to be raised by his parents.

Later on Tuesday, charges against one of Ms. Salman’s daughters, Halima Salman, who is now about 24, were unsealed. She is accused of receiving weapons training from a foreign terrorist organization.


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