The terrorist ex-husband of a 19-year-old Dutch girl has claimed that his ex-wife lived a happy life doing “girl stuff” alongside Islamic extremists, despite previous claims by the girl’s mother that she was abused.
The girl, named Aicha, was arrested after her mother rescued her from ISIS and brought her back to the Netherlands. The girl is suspected of joining a terrorist organization and could face up to 30 years in prison. Though her mother, Monique Verbert, reported that her daughter had been treated like a slave by jihadists, Aicha’s former husband Omar Yilmaz has argued that his ex-wife enjoyed her life in Syria.
“She would spend most of the day either at home or with our neighbors,” Yilmaz said. “Cooking food, tea parties … girl stuff.”
Though the couple eventually split up for an unknown reason, Yilmaz claimed the divorce was amicable. Verbert, however, argued that Yilmaz treated her daughter like a slave, then “threw [her] away”.
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The two first came into contact after Aicha, whose original name was Sterlina, watched a video posted to the Internet by Yilmaz and was allegedly impressed by it. Verbert noted that Aicha saw him as a kind of Robin Hood fighting against the Syrian president.
“She said again and again: ‘Mum, look at that guy - isn't it good what he does?’" Verbert said. “She's a very sweet, sensitive girl.”
By 18, Aicha had converted to Islam and changed her name. Eventually, she left her life in the Netherlands and fled to Syria to marry Yilmaz.
Currently, Aicha is being held in solitary confinement. If it’s clear that the 19-year-old was a victim of trauma and abuse, she will receive psychological help so she can “get back into society," according to Dutch journalist Johan van Beek.