Austrian newspapers report that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) beat to death Samra Kesinovic, a teen recruit whose flight to Syria became a major international story earlier this year, when she attempted to escape the radical Islamic group.
A Tunisian woman told Kronen Zeitung that she had lived with Kesinovic and other young female recruits in Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of ISIS. But the Austrian government could not confirm or deny the woman’s comments.
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“We cannot comment on individual cases,” declared Foreign Ministry spokesman Thomas Schnöll.
The tabloids, along with British outlets, did not provide specific details about Kesinovic’s death. Israeli expert of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTED) David Scharia said her friend Sabina Selimovic perished in September 2014 during fighting.
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“The parents of the girl concerned have been informed that there is a risk that their daughter is dead,” said Konrad Kogler, the director-general of public security for Austrian police, at the time.
Keinovic allegedly wanted to return home late last year. Both girls reached out to their parents and said they were “sick of living with the Islamic State.” But they did not think they could return home because they have been publicly identified as jihadists.
“The main problem is about people coming back to Austria,” explained Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck. “Once they leave, it is almost impossible.”
The two girls fled their parents’ homes last year to join ISIS. They left notes for their parents that said not to look for them, as they had gone to “serve Allah” and “die for him.” They travelled to Syria through Turkey when authorities lost their tracks.
Once they landed in Syria, they married jihadists. After that, they appeared on social media with Kalashnikov rifles. ISIS made them poster children to recruit others to join the group.
“Austrian officials believe that the pair, judging by the scenes around them, are in a training camp and are not only already married, but also already living in the homes of their new husbands,” reported The Daily Mail. “In Vienna the family admitted that the two had recently started going to a local mosque run by a radical Imam, Ebu Tejma.”
The authorities believe “he brainwashed them into” joining ISIS, but he denied the allegations. Officials arrested him this month “for his role in an alleged terrorist funding network.”