ONE of the teens who fled Austria to become poster girl for jihad in Syria has blasted claims that she wants to return home in an interview believed to be held at gunpoint by her Islamic State-devoted husband.
“Here I can really be free,” 15-year-old Sabina Selimovic told French magazine Paris Match via SMS text messages. “I can practise my religion.”
“I couldn’t do that in Vienna,” she added.
Under the watchful eye of her jihadist husband, Sabina spoke to the weekly publication using text messages and claimed she was not pregnant as previously reported. She also admitted that she was in fact loving her new-found life in the war-torn region, Central European News reports.
“I like to eat,” she continued. “The food here is very similar to Austria even if it’s mainly halal food. You can get ketchup here, Nutella and cornflakes.”
But experts back in Vienna are crying foul — claiming that the entire interview is just one big publicity stunt used to try and rebuild the image of the Islamic State amid recent reports that Sabina and her friend Samra Kesinovic, 17, wished to return to their families in Austria.
“If they really want it to be believable that the girls are now claiming they don’t want to come home, they should let them give the interview on neutral territory where it’s possible to see that they aren’t being threatened by a gun,” an Austrian security insider told CEN. “If the claim they want to come home is untrue, they have the opportunity to walk back into Syria.”
Authorities have analysed the transcript of the interview and are almost completely certain that Sabina would have been ordered and threatened to retract anything she had previously said in order to keep the flow of Islamic State recruits steady, according to CEN.
She says that when her and Samra first made their way into the Syrian epicentre for Islamic State — the city of Rakka — they travelled with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. In April, the terror teens left a chilling note for their parents which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah, and we will die for him.”
Upon their arrival, the two girls were immediately married to a pair of jihadist fighters whom they lived with for two months under the same roof, she said. The girls eventually moved out with each of their husbands into separate homes, with Sabina and her “soldier” living in a 3 bedroom apartment.
Since word has spread about Sabina and Samra’s devotion to Islamic State, Austrian police have compiled a dossier about the girls’ links with the terrorist group and believe they could slap the two with charges if they do ever decide to return, CEN reports.
“Participation in a terrorist organisation is a punishable offence in Austria which doesn’t just mean standing on the front line and pulling the trigger, it also includes supporting or supplying information to the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq,” said Austrian criminal lawyer, Andreas Venier. “If the girls are found to have been involved with the terror group, they could face a prison sentence of up to five years even as minors.”