Suspended sentence for 22-year-olds: IS returnees leave the court at large

When she was 15, Leonora M.

Suspended sentence for 22-year-olds: IS returnees leave the court at large

When she was 15, Leonora M. joined the terrorist organization Islamic State in Syria. A court in Halle condemned her on several counts. She is acquitted of another allegation related to slavery.

An IS returnee from Saxony-Anhalt has been sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence by the Naumburg Higher Regional Court. According to a spokesman, the court considered it proven that 22-year-old Leonora M. had traveled to Syria as a teenager seven years ago and had joined the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). She returned to Germany in 2020 and was temporarily imprisoned.

M. was convicted of membership in a foreign terrorist organization and violations of the War Weapons Control Act and the Weapons Act. She was acquitted of the charge of aiding and abetting a crime against humanity. According to the indictment, she should have supported her husband in buying and selling a Yazidi woman as a slave. This was not confirmed in the process. The court did not see sufficient evidence for this. The public was excluded from the process.

According to investigators from the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the woman, who comes from Sangerhausen, traveled as a young person in March 2015 via Turkey to the civil war country Syria in order to join the IS. The accused, who had two children in Syria, also worked for IS and was deployed to a militia hospital for three months.

The allegation of violations of the War Weapons Control Act and the Weapons Act referred to the fact that M. is said to have owned a semi-automatic pistol and an assault rifle. According to the indictment, she wanted to demonstrate her affiliation with IS. The federal government brought M. and two other German women and a total of twelve children back to Germany in December 2020 from camps for imprisoned former IS members in northern Syria. M. was arrested at the airport and initially held in custody. However, she was released in January 2021.

The verdict is not yet legally binding. The accused can appeal against the verdict within a week. The trial against her was negotiated in the Justice Center in Halle.


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