Berlin: A German teenager who joined Islamic State is now being held in an Iraqi prison and says she regrets joining the jihadist group and just wants to come home to her family, media reported on Sunday.
Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that four German women who joined Islamic State in recent years, including a 16-year-old girl from the small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, are being held in an Iraqi prison and receiving consular assistance.
Lorenz Haase, senior public prosecutor in Dresden, said he could confirm the teenager, named by authorities only as Linda W., had been “located and identified in Iraq” and was receiving consular support but could not say anything on her exact circumstances.
“There is the possibility that Linda might be put on trial in Iraq,” Haase said. “She could be handed over to Germany.”
She could face up to 15 years in prison in Iraq if found guilty of terror offences.
London’s Daily Telegraph reported the girl reportedly married an IS fighter, believed killed in an air strike, and may have had a baby and weapons with her when she was captured by Iraqi special forces last week.
German broadcasters NDR and WDR and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said they had interviewed Linda W. in the infirmary of a military complex in Baghdad and she told them she wanted to leave.
“I just want to get away from here,” she was quoted as saying. “I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise.”
She added: “I just want to go home to my family.”
The media outlets said the teenager had told them she regretted joining IS, wanted to be extradited to Germany and would cooperate with authorities.
They said the girl had a gunshot wound on her left thigh and another injury on her right knee that she said was caused during a helicopter attack.
“I’m doing well,” she said.
German prosecutors said last week they were checking reports that a 16-year-old under investigation for supporting Islamic State was among five women arrested in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Iraqi forces declared victory over Islamic State earlier this month.
German authorities have been investigating a teenage girl who went missing from Pulsnitz last northern summer for alleged contacts with the jihadist group about preparing a possible act of terrorism.
On Tuesday Haase said the girl had travelled to Turkey about a year ago with the apparent goal of reaching Iraq or Syria and security officials had later lost her trail, but new evidence had since emerged in the case.
Reuters; Telegraph, London