ISIS ‘poster girls’: One dead and one missing
One of the ISIS poster girls who fled their middle class lives in Austria has been killed in Syria while the other has gone missing, a United Nations official has revealed.
(Evidence: The United Nations said one of the two girls, Samra Kesinovic, left, and Sabina Selimovic, was killed while the other has gone missing.)
Teenagers Samra Kesinovic, 16, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, left their homes in Vienna earlier this year in a bid to join islamists fanatics fighting in the war-torn nation.
The pair, whose parents are Bosnian refugees, had disappeared in April after saying that they wanted to fight in Syria.
Security officials believe they first went to the Turkish capital Ankara by plane, and then on into the southern Turkish region of Adana. After that, their tracks were lost.
David Scharia, a senior Israeli expert of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, revealed the UN had received information that one of the girls had been killed – but was unable to say which one.
He said: “We received information just recently about two 15-year-old girls, of Bosnian origin, who left Austria, where they had been living in recent years; and everyone, the families and the intelligence services of the two countries, is looking for them.
(Syria: The two girls in their new life in a picture they posted online)
“Both were recruited by Islamic State. One was killed in the fighting in Syria, the other has disappeared.”
Confirmation of one of the girls’ death comes just three months after the Austrian government said it had informed both sets of parents of the girls that one of them might have been killed.
A short while after the pair fled their homes, they appeared on social networking sites brandishing Kalashnikov rifles and surrounded by armed men – photos which Austrian police said acted as recruitment posters for young girls.
An Islamic preacher from Bosnia living in Vienna, Mirsad O., known by the Islamic name of ‘Ebu Tejma’, was allegedly responsible for the radicalization of the two young girls. Authorities say he brainwashed them into joining the jihad. He denies this.
Mirsad O. was arrested for his role in an alleged terrorist funding network based in Austria in November.
As many as 130 people from Austria are now believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad. Experts say at least half of them originally come from the Caucasus region of Russia and were granted asylum in Austria after the bloody Chechen war.
Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Marakovits said they were noticing an increasing problem with youngsters wanting to leave the country to fight in the ranks of ISIS.
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.”
[via Daily Mirror]