Widow of ISIS militant goes on trial in Germany

HAMBURG • A German-Tunisian woman who married a German rapper-turned-fighter for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and who kept a child slave in Syria went on trial yesterday.

The woman, named as 35-year-old Omaima M, faces a slew of charges, including membership of a foreign terror group, human trafficking and crimes against humanity. She appeared before the higher regional court in Hamburg dressed in a blue blazer, using a magazine to cover her face from photographers. Omaima M is widely known in Germany for having been the wife of the late German-Ghanaian rapper and ISIS militant Denis Cuspert, who went by the stage name Deso Dogg.

Prosecutors said Omaima M had travelled to Syria in January 2015 with her three children to join her first husband and the children's father, Nadar H. She lived under ISIS rules, raising her children on the group's doctrines and receiving monthly financial help from the militant outfit, prosecutors said.

Between spring and summer 2015, Omaima M allegedly held a 13-year-old Yazidi girl as a slave.

She married the rapper Denis Cuspert after her first husband was killed in an air raid in Kobane, according to prosecutors. Cuspert was one of the most notorious Western fighters for ISIS, having appeared in several propaganda videos including one that apparently showed him with a man's severed head. Omaima M subsequently left Cuspert and returned to Germany pregnant with their child, as well as her three other children, in 2016.

Cuspert was killed in an airstrike in Syria in 2018.

According to German media, Omaima M quietly slipped back into German society after her return to Europe, working as an event manager and interpreter. But a Lebanese journalist broke her story last year, sparking outrage in Germany over why she had not faced prosecution in her home country. Omaima M was arrested in Hamburg last September.

Meanwhile, ISIS remnants in Iraq are exploiting the coronavirus lockdown, coalition troop withdrawals and simmering political disputes to ramp up deadly attacks, according to analysts and intelligence officials. The bloodiest so far was an ambush early last Saturday that killed 10 Iraqi fighters north of Baghdad that observers say demonstrated a new escalation in the Islamist group's tactics but one that could still be contained.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2020, with the headline 'Widow of ISIS militant goes on trial in Germany'. Print Edition | Subscribe