CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — On July 17, the city of Chattanooga woke to the sober reality that the events of the past 24 hours had not been some sort of nightmare — a young man named Mohammad Abdulazeez had attacked a military recruiting center and military base, killing four Marines and bringing fears of Islamist terrorism to the place known as one of the most “Most Bible-Minded” cities in America.
Halfway around the world, however, one woman saw the news on Twitter and posted her joy: “Gifted this morning not only with Eid but w/ the news of a brother puttin fear n the heart of kufar [non-believers] n the city of my birth. Alhamdullilah [thanks be to God].”
BuzzFeed News has confirmed that this woman, who calls herself “Emarah bint Aljon” or “Umm Aminah,” is Ariel Bradley, a 29-year-old American from the Chattanooga suburb of Hixson — where shooter Abdulazeez also lived — who has been living in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria for more than a year, with her Iraqi-born husband and their two children. The couple’s first child, a daughter, was born in Chattanooga in 2012. Their son was born in Syria late last year.