Two teenage girls who left Austria to travel to Syria and become “jihadi brides” have reportedly grown disillusioned by life with Isis and told their families they want to return home, reports the Independent.co.uk.
When they first arrived in the Middle East via Turkey, 15-year-old Sabina Selimovic and 17-year-old Samra Kesinovic were used as poster girls for the militant group, and social media posts purported to show how much fun they were having.
Interpol became involved when the girls left Austria in April, despite the fact that they wrote a note telling their parents: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah – and we will die for him.”
Sabina Selimoic, 15, (left) and Samra Kesinovic, 17, in pictures posted to social media profiles apparently from within Syria (Interpol)But now the Austrian government has said the girls want to come back, and have been in contact with their families, the Austrian newspaperOesterreich reported.
Speaking to the paper, an official with the home office said that escaping Isis in Syria “after such a long time” would be extremely difficult.
Austrian media reports suggest that the girls have been married to Chechen fighters and that they may be pregnant – and even if they could flee, Austria’s laws bar them from returning once they have joined a foreign war.
Karl-Heinz Grunboeck, a spokesperson for the Austrian interior ministry, said: “The main problem is about people coming back to Austria. Once they leave, this is almost impossible.”
Experts now believe that the social media accounts associated to the girls were commandeered by Isis, with images and posts doctored to encourage other girls to follow suit.
An unnamed security service source told the Austrian Times: “It is clear that whoever is operating their pages it probably is not the girls, and that they are being used for propaganda.”
Sabina and Samra grew up in Vienna in Bosnian immigrant families, according to the Austrian media, but their views are believed to have become increasingly radical in recent years. In total, around 130 Austrian nationals are believed to have become foreign fighters for Isis.
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