05:34 GMT03 March 2021
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    A German teenager who fled her home to become a "Daesh bride" in Iraq is to stand trial for her activities with the group.

    After running away from her home in Dresden, East Germany, last summer to join Daesh in Iraq, a German teenager — Linda Wenzel — is to stand trial in the country's courts, and could face the death penalty.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the Associated Press the 16-year-old, currently held in a Baghdad prison, was "accountable for [her] actions" — especially as she may have been involved in criminal activity that amounted to "killing innocent people."

    Linda was captured by Iraqi forces in the basement of a home in Mosul in July, during an offensive aimed at driving the extremist group from the city. She along with four other women were armed with weapons and suicide bomber belts, ready to blow up the advancing army.

    She is accused of working with Daesh's "police force" and carrying out terrorist attacks, and is one of over many women being detained for their activities during Daesh's three-year reign of terror in the country.

    Germany's Foreign Ministry were previously said to be working on returning the teen and three other German women who were caught in Iraq, but there is no extradition treaty in place between the two countries, and Iraqi officials have indicated they wish for her and other foreign converts to be tried in the country's own courts.

    Capital punishment is banned under German law — if she was tried at home, she'd face a prison term of up to 10 years — but very much in place in Iraq.

    Radicalized Regret

    Linda was 15 when she fled her hometown in the German state of Saxony.

    In interviews after her capture, she has spoken of her immense regret at journeying to Iraq, and her desire to go home, "away from the weapons, the noise."

    Radicalized after communicating with Daesh members online, Linda claims it took a month to travel to Iraq via Turkey and Syria, where she married a Daesh fighter.

    She was later "shipped" to Mosul, where her husband was killed shortly after. She has a gunshot wound on her left thigh and another injury on her right knee caused during a helicopter attack.

    Recruitment Methods

    In the past few years, more than 930 Islamists have traveled from Germany to join the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq or Syria.

    According to Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, 20 percent of them are women and five percent were minors. Of those under the age of 18, half were female. 

    Sigrid Herrmann Marschall, an expert in Islamism in Germany, has previously told Sputnik Islamists all over the country are trying to recruit young girls to join Daesh. She spoke of one "remarkable case," involving an interpreter in Leipzig.

    The interpreter belonged to an extremist mosque, and was employed to speak to refugees from the Middle East.

    In many cases, the individual managed to convert refugees to the cause of extremism, whereupon they would apply to be repatriated back to their home countries.

    Islamist recruiters in Germany often work not for ideological conviction, but money — providing male fighters and "Daesh brides" is a lucrative business, as the terror group wishes to ensnare and create successive generations for its ranks.

    Other individuals — often dubbed "Daesh brides" — include citizens of France, Belgium, Syria and Iran.


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    bride, jihad, terror attack, radicalization, extremism, recruitment, terrorism, Daesh, Germany, Syria, Iraq, Middle East
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