Last week, I mentioned a pair of cute Austrian teenage girls who had joined the disturbing trend of young women either born in the West, or raised most of their lives in Western countries, running off to join ISIS. (I continue to think the potentially more unsettling story we haven’t really heard yet is the number of young ISIS sympathizers who didn’t get on planes to fly to Syria and Iraq, and are still knocking around America and the United Kingdom, waiting for further instructions.)
The success of the Islamic State, which is quite literally medieval in its treatment of women, in recruiting alienated young women from Western societies is bad news, because you’d think women accustomed to the freedom and respect of the West would not be eager to hook up with people who treat women so badly, to the point of instituting actual female slavery. (You’d also think Western feminists would be much louder in denouncing this treatment, right?) But not only have girls who would seem to have good prospects turned their backs on America and the UK to join the caliphate, they’ve also been enthusiastic in their efforts to bring even more women on board. The Austrian girls, Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovic – 16 and 15-year olds of Bosnian extraction – were said to be particularly good at using social media to reach out to other young women, inspiring at least one other pair of teenagers who were caught while trying to leave Vienna for points east. (That was a close shave, too – they only got caught because the third girl who was supposed to join them on the road to Jihadistan packed too much luggage for the short trip she was supposed to be taking, arousing the suspicions of her mother.)
According to the UK Daily Mail, it is believed one of the “poster girls” has been killed, although no one seems to be sure how, why, or even which one of them is dead:
Samra Kesinovic, 16, and her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15, vanished from their Vienna homes earlier this year.
Soon afterwards they posted images of themselves branding Kalashnikov rifles, surrounded by armed men – photos which Austrian police feared were acting as militant recruitment posters for young girls.
It is not yet known which one of the teenagers has been killed as the death is yet to be officially confirmed by the Austrian government.
Alexander Marakovits, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, told The Salzburger News: ‘We also have this information and have checked it, but cannot say with absolute certainty that it is true.
‘But the parents have been informed their daughter could be dead.’
The Austrians are aware they have a growing problem on their hands:
As many as 130 people from Austria are now believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad.
More than half of Austrian’s jihadists originally come from the Caucasus region and have a valid residence permit in Austria.
Meanwhile, two Salafists were intercepted in a German border town on the way to Syria via Austria.
Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Marakovits said they were noticing an increasing problem with youngsters wanting to leave the country for the same reason.
He said: ‘If we can catch them before they leave we have the chance to work with their parents and other institutions to bring the youngsters out of the sphere of influence that prompted them to act in this way the first place.
‘Once they have left the country, even if they then changed their minds, it is then almost impossible to get them back.’
If one of the Poster Girls is indeed dead, maybe she changed her mind, and found out the hard way that her new masters weren’t going to let her go back. ISIS has not been gentle with Western recruits who decide the jihad looks considerably less entertaining from close up.