'I just want to go home': German teenager who joined Isis expresses regret

Linda Wenzel, 16, ran away from home near Dresden to join jihadist militants but is now being detained in Iraqi prison

Michelle Martin
Monday 24 July 2017 08:04
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A girl pictured in Mosul believed to be missing Isis recruit Linda Wenzel
A girl pictured in Mosul believed to be missing Isis recruit Linda Wenzel

A German teenager who joined Isis is now being held in detention in Iraq and says she regrets joining the jihadist group and just wants to come home to her family, media reported.

Der Spiegel magazine reported that four German women who joined Isis in recent years, including a 16-year-old girl from the small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, were being held in an Iraqi prison and receiving consular assistance.

Lorenz Haase, senior public prosecutor in Dresden, said he could confirm the teenager, Linda Wenzel, had been “located and identified in Iraq” and was receiving consular support but could not say anything on her exact circumstances.

German broadcasters NDR and WDR and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said they had interviewed Wenzel 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 Isis, 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 Isis was among five women arrested in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Iraqi forces declared victory over Isis earlier this month.

German authorities have been investigating a teenage girl who went missing from Pulsnitz last summer for alleged contacts with the jihadist group about preparing a possible act of terrorism.

On Tuesday Haase said the teenager 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

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