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Germany arrests French woman for alleged war crimes in Syria

December 1, 2023 at 8:40 am

German police in Berlin [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

German authorities arrested a French woman who is alleged to have committed war crimes after joining Daesh in Syria.

According to Germany’s federal prosecutor, the woman – identified only as Samra N. due to the country’s privacy rules – was arrested on Tuesday in the western German city of Trier on suspicion of joining two foreign militant organisations as a teenager.

In September 2013, the woman travelled to Syria and first joined Jabhat Al-Nusra, the group affiliated with Al-Qaeda at the time prior to its departure and rebranding. She married one of the group’s fighters, and in November that year, the couple joined Daesh, which had begun to emerge in Syria and Iraq.

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Her crimes include attempting to persuade people living in Germany to also go to Syria to join Jabhat Al-Nusra, temporarily taking in a woman for that very reason. The charges say that she also ran the household for her husband and helped him procure military equipment for Daesh.

The woman was also slapped with the charge of committing a “war crime against property”, stemming from when she allegedly stayed in women’s houses – on two occasions – that Daesh occupied after the terror group drove out the original residents.

Although she is a French citizen, she returned to Germany at the beginning of 2014 while reportedly remaining a member of Daesh until at least February 2015.