Swedish teenager Marilyn Nevalainen says she was tricked into joining Isis by her 19-year-old boyfriend

'He said he wanted to go to Isis, and I said OK no problem. I didn’t know anything about Islam or Isis, I didn’t know what he meant'

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The Independent Online

A Swedish 16-year-old who was rescued from Isis territory in a Kurdish special forces raid says she was tricked into travelling to Syria and Iraq by her jihadi-supporting boyfriend.

Marilyn Nevalainen, from Boras near Gothenburg, was identified on Tuesday by the Kurdistan Regional Security Council – though her name was misspelled. Kurdish officials said they worked with the Swedish authorities and the girl’s family to locate and rescue her.

Though details surrounding the rescue attempt were unclear, it was believed Marilyn was the same girl who reportedly travelled to Isis territory last year, pregnant, with her 19-year-old boyfriend.

A Kurdish security source told The Independent she was “held against her will” before she was rescued from within the Isis stronghold of Mosul, Iraq, on 17 February.

And Marilyn has now appeared in an interview on Kurdish television, in which she said she had a “really hard life” under Isis in Iraq.

Describing her relationship with her partner, who according to some Swedish reports may have been killed in an air strike, she said: “First we were good together, but then he started to look at Isis videos, started to speak about them and stuff like that.

“But I didn’t know anything about Islam or Isis, I didn’t know what he meant.

“And then he said he wanted to go to Isis, and I said OK no problem, because I didn’t know what Isis means, what Islam is, nothing.”

Speaking about life under Isis, she said: “In Sweden we have everything, and when I was there I had nothing. No water, no electricity, and we didn’t have any money either – it was a really hard life.

“So when I got a phone I started to contact my mum, and I said to her that I want to come home.”

It has been reported that the couple left Sweden in late May 2015, making their way across Europe by bus before crossing into Syria at Gaziantep, Turkey.

From there, they were taken by Isis militants to Mosul, where they were provided with a house.

In their statement on Tuesday, the Kurdish authorities said they were “called upon” to carry out the rescue mission by Sweden. “She will be transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once necessary arrangements are put in place,” it added.