Woman Whose ISIS Family Owned Slaves Charged on Crimes Against Humanity

Policemen stand in front of a house at the Neu Zippendorf district in Schwerin, northeastern Germany, where a 19-year-old Syrian man suspected of planning an Islamist bomb attack was arrested on October 31, 2017. The man, identified only as Yamen A, was held at dawn by special forces, suspected of …
BERND WUSTNECK/AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) – A German woman who traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State group and whose husband bought a Yazidi woman as a slave has been charged with membership in a terror group and being an accessory to a crime against humanity, German prosecutors said Wednesday.

The indictment of Leonora M., whose full name wasn’t released because of local privacy rules, is the latest in a string of cases in Germany involving women who went to the area held by IS and were involved in holding women captured by the extremist group as slaves.

Federal prosecutors said the suspect went to Syria and joined IS in 2015 and became the “third wife” of a member of the group. She is accused of enabling her husband’s activities for IS by running their household in Raqqa and writing his application for a job in the group’s intelligence service.

The suspect herself allegedly worked at an IS-controlled hospital and snooped on wives of IS fighters for the group’s intelligence service.

Prosecutors said her husband bought a 33-year-old Yazidi woman as a slave in 2015 with the aim of selling her with her two small children. Leonora M., they said, cared for the woman so that she could be sold on at a profit – which she subsequently was.

The suspect surrendered to Kurdish fighters in January 2019 as IS lost the areas it held in Syria. She was brought back to Germany in December last year and arrested after her arrival.

The indictment was filed on July 7 at a court in the eastern town of Naumburg.

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