Lebanese-German woman arrested over ISIS membership

Fadia S is accused of taking her children from Germany to Syria in 2015 as lawyers say she and her husband wanted to live in an ‘Islamic state’

Fadia S is believed to have lived in Raqqa with her family. AP
Fadia S is believed to have lived in Raqqa with her family. AP

Police in Germany have arrested a Lebanese-German woman they say took her four young children with her to Syria, where she joined ISIS.

Fadia S is accused of leaving Germany in April 2015 to follow her husband – known as Ahmad S – and travelling through Turkey to meet him nearly four months later in Raqqa.

Her children, aged three, four, seven and eight, went with her to the terrorist group’s de facto capital, German prosecutors said.

While the family initially lived in a flat, they had moved into a house by March 2017 as part of their “salary” from ISIS. The children were raised in line with the group’s radical values.

“As a result, there was a risk that the children would suffer considerable damage in their physical and mental development,” prosecutors said.

Fadia S often looked after other German women while their husbands were fighting or training. Prosecutors said she and her husband wanted to live in an “Islamic state” but also backed the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

She escaped to Turkey with her children at the start of 2018 and returned to Germany in February that year, but was eventually arrested in Essen, on Tuesday.

She had a fifth child, whose birthplace is unknown.

German police also arrested a Lebanese-German man in Hildesheim on Tuesday in relation to the case.

Rabih O is the brother of Ahmad S – the husband of Fadia S – and is accused of providing financial and logistical aid.

He is said to have helped Fadia S book her 2015 flight to Turkey and took her and the four children to the airport in Hanover.

Rabih O is also accused of giving mobile phones and computers to a middle man for transport to ISIS members in Syria, and of sending €17,000 (Dh73,000) to Ahmad S via intermediaries in February 2017 and January 2018.

Updated: July 28, 2020 06:17 PM

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