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You deign to question my loyalties, but you see no irony in your work supporting the follies of an empire of lies, masquerading as the great arbiter of peace.

Marion Codwell is a British terrorist recruiter and a follower of Iraqi terrorist Abu Hakim Al Badi. She appears in the Season One episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, The Matchmaker.


Little is known of Marion's background besides the fact that she is British and worked in MI6 for ten years. In 2004, she was an interrogator on loan at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and in 2006, she assisted in a CIA secret detention site in the Balkans for some time. The deaths and abuse that she witnessed there desensitized her and turned her against the U.S. Following her retirement, she became the CEO of a consulting firm in Istanbul, Turkey, that was named after herself, the Marion Codwell Group. Marion later became a follower of Al Badi and memorized his speeches, using parts of them as her own words.

The Matchmaker[]

Marion uses the alias "Hanim Atvar" to pose as a friend of Emir Bayer and lure his American girlfriend, Emma Peters, to Bayer's hometown in Antalya, Turkey, from where she is later taken to Istanbul. In Istanbul, Marion takes turns with Al Badi to convince Emma that Emir is in danger of being killed by the U.S. government after uncovering American war crimes in Iraq, but also that he wanted to marry her against his family's wishes, and finally, that Emir had been killed by the Americans because she disobeyed their instructions to not contact anyone and this gave them Emir's whereabouts. Meanwhile, Marion also lures a backup American girl, Julie Allen, to Istanbul, but she is killed with a Remington Model M40A1 by Al Badi's men after presumably refusing to go further with their plans. Because of the language in the mails used to lure Emma and Julie to Turkey, the International Response Team deduces that Marion is the actual identity of Hanim Atvar and sends Seger to interview her in the boardroom of her consulting firm.

Seger tells Marion that someone has hacked her office's servers to send illicit emails, but Marion arrogantly denies any hacking and says that she sent all those mails herself. She says that she was not luring the girls but recruiting them and that she broke no Turkish law by doing it under an assumed identity. As the conversation progresses, she outs herself as a follower of Al Badi by quoting a speech he made that year in Mosul. The IRT realizes that the girls were lured to participate in a terrorist attack against American objectives in Turkey and that the likeliest target is the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Tom Wilson because he ordered an airstrike that killed Al Badi's younger brother and is about to oversee the signing of a Turkish-Iraqi alliance against Al Badi's group, in a ceremony at the American consulate in Istanbul. Garrett convinces Emma to not carry out the suicide attack, and she testifies against Marion, leading to her arrest and extradition to the U.S. for acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. They were able to do so because Marion had not concealed her identity from Emma, as she was convinced that Emma was going to die.

Modus Operandi[]

Using the alias "Hanim Atvar", Marion contacted vulnerable American teenage girls through the internet and convinced them to travel to Turkey in secret. Here they were held captive and verbally brainwashed and psychologically tortured and brainwashed into committing a suicide attack against the American ambassador, her group's real objective.


The presence of British idioms, sentence structure and guilt-inducing strategy used in the "Hanim Atvar" emails shows that the unsub is female, British, well-educated, most likely in her forties and with a background in intelligence work.

Known Victims[]

  • 2015:
    • Columbus, Ohio: Julie Allen (lured to Istanbul using the Internet and brainwashed; later killed by Al-Badi's followers)
    • Washington, D.C.: Emma Peters (lured to Antalya using the Internet, then brainwashed into performing a suicide bombing at the American Consulate in Istanbul; was rescued)
    • Istanbul, Turkey: The attempted U.S. Embassy bombing committed by Emma Peters:
      • U.S. Ambassador Tom Wilson (target victim)
      • Numerous unnamed civilians
      • Jack Garrett