Skip to main content
Press Release

Minnesota Woman Charged With Stealing Passport To Travel To Syria

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced a complaint charging YUSRA ISMAIL, 20, with stealing and misusing a passport. According to the complaint and documents filed in court, on August 18, 2014, ISMAIL visited a friend and asked to see her passport. Before leaving her home on that day, ISMAIL surreptitiously took the passport and subsequently left her friend’s home.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, three days later, ISMAIL asked a different friend to drive her to Minneapolis/Saint Paul airport, from which she departed on a flight bound for Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She later traveled from Amsterdam to Oslo, Norway.

According to the complaint and documents filed in court, ISMAIL contacted members of her family on August 24, 2014, and told one or more of them that she was in “Sham,” which is a term commonly used to describe the area within Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is attempting to establish a caliphate.

There is no record that ISMAIL, who is not a United States citizen, has lawfully returned to the United States.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Defendant Information:

Saint Paul, Minn.

• Misuse of Passport, 1 count

Yusra Ismail Criminal Complaint

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



Updated April 17, 2023