German jihadi schoolgirl could face jail in Iraq: journalist

Monday July 24, 2017

By DW (Deutsche Welle)

An Iraqi journalist who interviewed teenage IS bride Linda W. after she was found in Iraq says she might face several years in an Iraqi prison. Linda has said she regrets her decision to go to Iraq and wants to go home.

Linda W., the 16-year-old German girl who ran away from her home near Dresden to join the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) in Iraq, could face three and a half years in prison under Iraqi law for her illegal border crossing alone, Iraqi journalist Amir Musawy told DW on Monday.

Musawy, who was given special access to interview Linda, said that she “definitely” wanted to return home, and appeared unaware of the gravity of her situation.

“I think she is still thinking like a child … who does not understand what happened and what might be waiting for her,” Musawy said, describing her as “exhausted” and “unnerved” by the selfies Iraqi soldiers had wanted to take with her.

A German prosecutor has said that the girl might even face the death penalty in Iraq if tried there and found guilty of terrorism-related offenses.

‘I just want to leave’

In an interview held by Musawy in Iraq at an undisclosed military hospital in Baghdad, which was commissioned by the respected daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR and published on Sunday, Linda had said she regreted her decision to run away.

“I just want to leave,” Linda W. is quoted as saying. “I want to get out of the war, away from the many weapons, the noise.”

German girl found in Mosul This image of the German girl circulated on social media

Read more: German teenage runaway suspected of joining IS found in Iraq

The girl, who was 15 when she fled Germany, told reporters it took her a month travel to Turkey, through Syria and into Iraq to marry an IS fighter.

She said she did not want to go to Mosul, but that she was “shipped” there and her husband was killed soon afterwards.

The girl said she had been hiding in a cellar near the River Tigris. When Iraqi soldiers found her they assumed she was part of the Yazidi minority, who are often held as slaves by IS. She was reportedly annoyed by this assumption, saying “I am German.”

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