A female Isil member was sentenced to five years in jail in Stuttgart on Friday, marking the first conviction of a so-called Isil-bride in Germany.
Sabine S. was found guilty of belonging to a foreign terror organisation after prosecutors argued that her life in Isil-controlled areas of Syria and Iraq had contributed to the group’s terror activities.
The 32-year-old convert to Islam had travelled to Syria in 2013, leaving behind two children, the court heard.
On her first day there she married an Isil fighter and went on to run two propaganda blogs intended to win new recruits for the caliphate. On her blog, Ms S. reported in detail on executions while warning that anyone who opposed Isil would face a similar fate, the court heard. She was also trained in the use of weapons.
The judges nonetheless refused the prosecution’s demand of a six-year sentence, noting that Ms S. had distanced herself from Isil during the 10-day trial and proved highly cooperative during the investigation.
Ms S. was captured by Kurdish forces in September 2017 and returned to Germany last year. She was arrested in Baden-Baden in July 2018 and has since been in custody.
According to German intelligence agencies, hundreds of women left Germany to marry Isil fighters in the years following the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011.
An estimated 50 have returned since the collapse of the jihadi group’s self-proclaimed caliphate.
Prosecutors have struggled to find adequate grounds to convict the returnees after the country’s highest court ruled that doing household tasks did not constitute support of terror activities. But the judges accepted the argument that Ms S. had lived with her family in a series of houses belonging to people who had fled Isil persecution and that through this form of “occupation” she helped the terrorists secure control over conquered territory.
Prosecutors are now set to test this line of argument in further cases against Isil brides.
In a trial that started in Munich in April, a German woman named Jennifer W also stands accused of crimes committed in the name of Isil.
The allegations against Ms W. are more serious. however. Prosecutors say she participated in torturing a a 5-year-old Yazidi girl to death.
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