'I just want to go home', says German girl who joined ISIS

An ISIS fighter holds the flag of the extremist group in a file photo.
An ISIS fighter holds the flag of the extremist group in a file photo. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - A German teenager who joined ISIS is now being held in detention in Iraq and says she regrets joining the extremist group and just wants to come home to her family, media reported on Sunday (July 23). 

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that four German women who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in recent years, including a 16-year-old girl from the small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, are being held in an Iraqi prison and receiving consular assistance.

Lorenz Haase, senior public prosecutor in Dresden, said he could confirm the teenager, named only as Linda W, had been"located and identified in Iraq" and was receiving consular support but could not say anything on her exact circumstances.

German broadcasters NDR and WDR and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said they had interviewed Linda W in the infirmary of a military complex in Baghdad and she told them she wanted to leave.

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"I just want to get away from here," she was quoted as saying. "I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise."

She added: "I just want to go home to my family."

The media outlets said the teenager had told them she regretted joining ISIS, wanted to be extradited to Germany and would cooperate with authorities.

They said the girl had a gunshot wound on her left thigh and another injury on her right knee that she said was caused during a helicopter attack. "I'm doing well," she said.

German prosecutors said last week they were checking reports that a 16-year-old under investigation for supporting ISIS was among five women arrested in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Iraqi forces declared victory over ISIS earlier this month.

German authorities have been investigating a teenage girl who went missing from Pulsnitz last summer for alleged contacts with the jihadist group about preparing a possible act of terrorism.

On Tuesday, Haase said the girl had travelled to Turkey about a year ago with the apparent goal of reaching Iraq or Syria and security officials had later lost her trail, but new evidence had since emerged in the case.