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IBTimes / News - Politics

Who is Linda Wenzel? German Teenager Who Joined ISIS 'Wants To Go Back Home'

Sixteen-year-old Linda Wenze went missing from Pulsnitz village, near Dresden, on July 1, 2016. She left her home saying she would spend the weekend at a friend’s house but did not return after that.


German teenager Linda Wenzel, who joined the Islamic State group — also known as ISIS — in 2016, and has been detained in Iraq, said she was regretting joining the terrorist organization and wanted to go home and meet her family.

Four German women including Wenzel, who belongs to a small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, were being given consular assistance in a prison in Iraq. However, the details such as where she was found have not been revealed, Guardian reported. 

READ: Great Mosque Of Al-Nuri Facts: Iraq Regains Control Of Mosul Mosque After Defeating ISIS

Sixteen-year-old Wenzel went missing from her home on July 1, 2016. She left her home saying she would spend the weekend at a friend’s house but did not return after that. The police found receipts of two plane tickets — from Dresden to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Istanbul — in her room after they began the search.

Before she went missing, she told her parents that her interest in Islam was growing. She also fasted during the holy month of Ramadan, her parents said. “We didn’t think anything of it, and even bought her a copy of the Qur’an,” said her mother, Katharina told Guardian. 

After being radicalized in Germany, the girl changed her name to Mariam. She also posted her photos on Facebook wearing a headscarf, reports said. Her friends also claimed she had started learning Arabic and wearing conservative clothes. She was also carrying religious books to school.

She was also interacting with the followers of the Islamic State group through internet. Some reports claimed she might have fallen in love with a Muslim boy she met online. After she disappeared, Germany authorities listed her as a potential terror threat.

She was arrested by the Iraqi forces along with many other female supporters of the terror organization in Mosul last week. Other female members are from countries like Russia, Turkey, Canada, Libya and Syria. They reportedly barricaded themselves with guns and explosives in a tunnel.

Some reports also said Wensel was carrying a baby at the time she was caught by the forces. The malnourished baby was sent for treatment. It has not yet been confirmed if Wenzel is the mother of that baby. 

READ: ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's Death Not Confirmed By US

It is also not clear yet if Wenzel would remain in Iraq or she would be deported to Germany to face trial. Earlier, an Iraqi judge said foreign members of the Islamic State group would be tried in Iraqi courts; however, since Wenzel is a minor, there are chances she may be deported, Telegraph reported. Only a few ISIS members from Europe under the age of 18 have been detained. 

Hundred of Germans including many young women and girls have left the country to join the terrorist group in the recent past. While some of them died, and others came, many such Germans are still unaccounted.