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MySpace Teen Story Goes From Weird To Creepy

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Earlier this week we mentioned the story of 16-year-old Katherine Lester from Gilford, Michigan, who ran away from home and was caught in Jordan trying to get to a young man going by the name abdullahpsycho on MySpace. The young man, 20-year-old Abdullah Jinzawi, had lied to the teen about his age and his wealth in an attempt to lure her to is West Bank home. The AP reports that his family is crushed...

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) -- The family of a West Bank man whose 16-year-old American girlfriend flew to the Mideast to marry him after they met on the Web is distraught that she has returned home and says they still hope to bring the couple together.


Sana Jinzawi, Abdullah's mother, said her son is heartbroken and insisted the two are in love.

"She was going to sign a marriage contract as soon as she got here," she said, adding that she told Katherine to "bring a pink dress for the engagement party and a white dress for the wedding."

"She wanted to convert to Islam and wear the head covering and live with us and adopt our culture," she said.

Well isn't that special. It sure sounds like international kidnapping, but that's just a minor detail. But wait it gets better... It turns out luring American women is a cottage industry in their neighborhood.

Family members insist they didn't want to hurt the girl and had no idea she acted without her parents' consent.


Sana Jinzawi said five other Jericho residents had brought American girls to Jericho in recent years and that all of them now live with their wives in the U.S.

No wonder the family is crushed; Lester was their meal ticket.

Sana Jinzawi said her son and Katherine have been in touch since she returned to Michigan.


"Neither of them are giving up on each other," she said.

The phrase "grounded for life" comes to mind...


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Comments (15)

And if the Hindus are right... (Below threshold)
Half Canadian:

And if the Hindus are right, well into the next one also.

There are few things scarier to a father. Kudos to the step-mom for catching this quickly.

Simple solution -- tear up ... (Below threshold)
JohnMc:

Simple solution -- tear up the passport.

...and take the damned comp... (Below threshold)
Slim:

...and take the damned computer away from her!

Having lived a day in this ... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Having lived a day in this kind of life (as a step-parent to a teen girl), I disagree with JohnMc and Slim.

Tearing up her passport and taking away her computer guarantee that she will a) rebel and repeat the behavior; b) gain support of her friends and hide it better next time around; and c) end up in far worse trouble than before.

You can't keep her from accessing computers at school or public libraries, nor can you put her under 24-hour house arrest with monitoring. But IMHO, here's what you CAN do:

* Let her know that you love her, and that her boundaries are firm (actions taken behind your back do have consequences). Grounding can be a good thing, and so can spanking (I hear some of you gasping, but there are cases where it drives a point home that cannot be accomplished any other way, if done appropriately);

* List her information with the US Department of State, so that she cannot apply for a passport on her own until she is 18; and

* Make her do research on Islamic culture - especially as it pertains to women - and research the phenomenon of foreign persons marrying US Citizens to gain a green card and citizenship into the US; showing what both Islamic culture and sham marriages can leave a young woman with.

Despite these things, if the girl wants to repeat the behavior, it is all too easy for her to do. A key question I would be asking is, how did she get the money to purchase international flight tickets? Does she have access to those funds via credit cards or bank accounts given by her parents?

An old adage states, "follow the money". Therefore perhaps the best punishment in this case would include restricting access to money or car. Friends will say they will "help" all day long, until that help actually costs them something. Then offers for help generally dry up.

Of course, if the parents are wealthy enough, they could always have a tracking device sewn into the girl's purse or wallet. If I were them, I'd be considering it.

About the money, several ne... (Below threshold)
CheeseshireCat:

About the money, several news sites mentioned that tickets (two-way) were bought for her by the family of the groom-to-be, not any of her parents' funds.

there should be no wedding.... (Below threshold)
flexs:

there should be no wedding. i agree that this kind of arrangment is one sided wherein the only purpose is to get green card for the husband to travel to america. a 16 year old girl can be manipulated by a 20 year old guy who pretended to be a wealthy businessman. for everybodys information, arabs have the sweetest tongue on earth that it can make you believe he can give you the moon when he cant even have ea ticket to fly to america.

the mother of the girl should be commended for acting swiftly to prevent another source of unwanted immigrant in america. they dont like american foreign policy and yet they want to benefit from the american hospitality.

one piece of advice to the ... (Below threshold)
iflexs:

one piece of advice to the girl: stop going to myspace and just watch mtv specially pink's STUPID GIRL. u might relate yourself to the said video of not your a plain stupid girl.

i agree that this kind o... (Below threshold)
ahem:

i agree that this kind of arrangment is one sided wherein the only purpose is to get green card for the husband to travel to america.

You do know that marrying an American isn't 'Instant Green Card', don't you? Just a suggestion: if your understanding of American immigration law comes from that film with Gerard Depardieu, then I'd suggest a quick visit to the USCIS site.

Let's just say that it's a lot easier for a wealthy American businessman to bring back a teenage bride from various foreign bride shops.

As a computer instructor fo... (Below threshold)
Candy:

As a computer instructor for (in many cases) troubled teens, I am amazed at how many of them continue to go to MySpace.com. The bad press has only caused them to flock there like lemmings.

I try to educate them on the evils of posting personal information for all to see.

My husband and I sat our own kids down and had them watch the Primetime specials with all the psychos trolling for kids on MySpace and other online locations. We figure we might as well equip them with the truth.

I am shocked at how easy it is for kids to access MySpace - libraries are a great source for this, because the majority of them refuse to use filtering software of any kind. We recently had a pedophile surfing for young girls at a computer at our local library while kids aged 12 and up were within feet of him.

Most parents are ignorant about how easy it is for kids to get into trouble online. Our parents didn't realize how easy they had it!

Obviously, anyone reading this is computer literate or you wouldn't be here - but please educate any parents in your family, neighborhood, etc. Many communities offer classes to educate parents. I'm all for parents using whatever means they feel are necessary to see what the kids are up to - you bought the computer or cell or palm pilot - you make the rules.

I always tell parents that having a kid on a computer behind a closed door is a recipe for disaster.

I hope this helps even one kid out there.

<a href="http://www.msnbc.m... (Below threshold)
Candy:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12192496/ I'm sorry - it was Dateline, and that link has some great tips for parents concerning MySpace.

there are more negative eff... (Below threshold)
iflexs:

there are more negative effect compared to positive effect that myspace.com is giving to its users and the government should start thinking of shutting down the site. its full of malicious pictures and source of predators preying on young innocent children.

regarding the five other women marrying their jordanian husbands what are they doing in america now? it just show that they are using these women as a passport to go to america. and to say that the 16 year old is willing to embrace the guys religion and culture, fine, but stay in jordan and live in his culture if you really want to embrace it. mother of the guy is distraught of course its understandable because she just lost a ticket for her meal.

Well suprise suprise where ... (Below threshold)
Hot_Sauce:

Well suprise suprise where he come from but in my eyes they should punish her more for being so stupid.

Altohugh the muslimk men do seem to have a way with the women don't they?

yes they do and i should kn... (Below threshold)
flexs:

yes they do and i should know i have friends and its irritating sometimes because they know how to use words with sincerity and convincingly when in fact they are just mere words to them.

There's a reason why Muslim... (Below threshold)

There's a reason why Muslim men go for non-Muslim women-- to convert a Christian or Jewish woman scores you brownie points with Allah.

brownie points comment ---... (Below threshold)
Loran:

brownie points comment ---- simply ignorant




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