Two teenage girls from Austria have left their home to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, according to their mother, who fears they have been influenced by other teen extremists, such as Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovic, who left Austria for Syria earlier this year.
Sisters Viktoria, 16, and Violetta, 17, reportedly left their Vienna home on the night of Nov. 1 and have not been heard from – until now. Their mother Setaniye says she recently received a phone call from her daughters, who claimed to be in Turkey, near the Syrian border, reports the New York Daily News.
Austrian Interior Ministry Officials are reportedly not looking into the possibility that the girls left the country to join ISIS. Despite the mother’s claim that her daughters called and told her they were staying with their grandmother in Turkey, Austrian officials say there is no proof the calls came from Turkey.
“At least I have proof that they are alive,” Setaniye said. “I had started to imagine that maybe they were not even alive, but now I know they are alive, although I still don’t have them back with me.”
Setaniye was reportedly born and raised in Turkey and moved to Austria with her husband two decades ago. Her husband – the girls’ father – has since passed away. Setaniye says Viktoria and Violetta left home carrying nothing but their passports and mobile phones, which police say are out of batteries. She says she doesn’t know where they got the money to travel to Turkey, isn’t sure who is with them, and says they wouldn’t respond when she asked if they were coming home.
“The two seemed to have been taking some comfort from religion, but I was worried lately that they appeared to be getting a bit extreme,” Setaniye said. “They were acting a bit strange, but as a single mum, I was always so busy perhaps I didn’t pay as much attention as I should.”
Setaniye says she fears her teen daughters will suffer the same fate as Samra and Sabina, who were both reportedly married off as soon as they entered Syria. The young girls have since decided they want to come home, reports The Independent, but Austrian law prohibits citizens from returning after they have left to fight in a foreign war.
“Going back over their behavior now over the last few weeks, I’m convinced and terrified that they may have traveled to Syria to join ISIS and fight in the holy war,” Setaniye said.
Photo Credit: Europics