THE HAGUE - A Chechen woman living in the Netherlands has taken her two young children against their father's will to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in what is believed to be the first such case, prosecutors said.
The unnamed 32-year-old refugee flew with her children, a boy aged eight and a girl aged seven, from Charleroi in Belgium to Athens last November, possibly using false passports after their Dutch father warned police of their imminent departure.
"She is most likely in Syria now. We are probing a kidnapping case," public prosecution spokesman Elsbeth Kleibeuker said, adding that an international detention request had been issued for them.
The Chechen woman and her children, who are Dutch nationals, were photographed as she withdrew money from a cash machine in Istanbul in mid-December, the Dutch Limburger newspaper reported on Monday.
On Dec 28, she posted a picture on Facebook, believed to have been taken in the Turkish-Syrian border town of Tell Abiad, which is controlled by ISIS.
In early January, she phoned her mother in the Dutch city of Maastricht and said she was in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
"The mother has taken the children against the wishes of her ex-husband, who has custody," said public prosecution service spokesman Bart den Hartigh. "Unfortunately, there's very little we can do (if they are) in Syria," he told state broadcaster NOS.
At least 160 people have travelled from the Netherlands to join ISIS fighters, Dutch Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said late last year.