German teenager who joined ISIS: ‘I just want to go home to my family’

Linda Wenzel (Twitter).

Linda Wenzel, a 16-year-old German teenager who ran away to join ISIS, has been located and is being detained in an Iraqi prison. She has reportedly said that she regrets seeking out the jihadist group and would like to return home.

According to The Guardian, Wenzel disappeared from her hometown of Pulsnitz, which is located near Dresden, last summer. German authorities had been investigating the teenager for links to the Islamic State and possible plans to commit a terrorist attack. She was taken into custody last week in Mosul, according to Vian Dakhil, a member of Iraqi parliament, who posted images of the girl on Twitter. Dakhil, one of the few Yazidi lawmakers in Iraq’s government, is near the top of ISIS’s most-wanted list and appeared onstage at the Women in the World New York Summit two years ago.

Security officials lost track of Wenzel after she reached Turkey last year, but recently rediscovered her whereabouts. Wenzel is now being held in an Iraqi prison along with three other German women who had joined ISIS.

Lorenz Haase, senior public prosecutor in Dresden, confirmed that the teenager had been “located and identified in Iraq.” According to TRT World, Wenzel is receiving support from the German consulate, but her legal fate lies with the Iraqi government. Iraqi military officials say Wenzel was a sniper for ISIS and killed several of their soldiers. They claim she has admitted to doing so.

German media outlets were reportedly able to interview Wenzel at a detention center in Baghdad. They said that she expressed regret over joining ISIS, and told them that she would like to be extradited to Germany.

“I just want to get away from here,” she said, according to German media. “I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise.

“I just want to go home to my family.” For more on her story, watch the video below.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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