Ottawa probing reports Canadian-Israeli woman kidnapped by ISIS
Published Sunday, November 30, 2014 12:43PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 30, 2014 10:40PM EST
The federal government is investigating media reports that Islamic State militants have kidnapped a Canadian-Israeli woman in Syria.
The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that websites that were “known to be close” to ISIS extremists were reporting that Canadian-born Gill Rosenberg had been kidnapped.
The newspaper said the websites claimed the kidnapping occurred after three suicide attacks took place close to where Kurdish fighters were located. However, Kurdish sources told Israel Radio that reports of Rosenberg's capture are likely ISIS propaganda.
The abduction was alleged to have taken place in the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani, and Kurdish forces have said Rosenberg wasn’t in the area at the time.
A spokesperson from the Department of Foreign Affairs told CTV News in an email that the government is “pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information and officials are in close contact with local authorities.”
The spokesperson added: "The Government of Canada will not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts and risks endangering the safety of Canadian citizens abroad."
Terror expert Michael Zekulin said if Rosenberg is confirmed to be captured, the Canadian government would likely act.
"If they believe that they've identified where she is, and they believe that it’s viable to mount a rescue operation, then …that's what we would expect to see," Zekulin said.
Rosenberg is believed to have travelled from Israel to Iraq in early November to join a Kurdish militia on the Syrian border. At the time, she told Israel Radio that she had contacted the Kurdish fighters on Facebook.
Rosenberg grew up in British Columbia and had worked as a pilot in Canada, but has been living in Israel since 2009. The 31-year-old had previously served in the Israeli military, but her career was cut short following an arrest for her role in a multi-million-dollar lottery fraud that targeted American seniors.
Rosenberg was one of 11 people arrested and spent at least three years in jail for the scheme.
With a report from CTV News’ Katie Simpson