A mother devastated by her 15-year-old daughter’s disappearance last month recently received a phone call from the teen, explaining where she was. The Swedish schoolgirl called her mother from Syria to explain she had left to join a group affiliated with al-Qaida.
The girl, who has yet to be named by the media, has been missing from her home in southern Sweden since May 31. During the call, the teen reportedly informed her mother she had decided to leave their home to secretly travel to join Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, an extremist Islamist group with links to al-Qaida.
When she contacted her mother from Homs, Syria, the girl’s mother says her daughter told her she was continuing to travel and headed to a new city. Daily Mail reported that it is likely the teen will continue to travel north, in the direction of the city of Idlib where Jabhat al-Nusra has gained ground.
“I cannot describe how terrible this is,” the distraught mother told the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladest. “I just wish I could go there myself and fetch her.”
Despite the obvious dangers in the war-torn country, it is not a necessarily an unlikely occurrence for young girls to leave their homes in Sweden to secretly travel to Syria. According to Daily Mail, as many as 30 other Swedish girls are thought to have left their homeland to travel Syria or Iraq in order to join Islamist groups.
Magnus Ranstorp from the Swedish Defence University recently explained to reporters that some girls “look up to the fighters like pop stars.”
“For a lot of the girls this is a form of emancipation in a perverse way,” Ranstorp said. “They think they are getting away from the leash of patriarchal structures in their families or the areas where they live.”
Since the call to her mother, the girl has been put on an international watch list, reports Live Leak. The operational department of Sweden’s national force announced on June 29 her disappearance is being investigated by regional police in Halland, Sweden.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons