German Teen Who Joined ISIS May Face Death Penalty (Photos)

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A German teenager may face the death penalty for joining ISIS.

Linda Wenzel, now 16, was captured in July 2017 along with four other German women as Iraqi forces liberated the city of Mosul, Daily Mail reports.  

The teen left Germany to join ISIS in 2016 after reportedly becoming infatuated with Islam and falling in love with a Muslim boy. According to The Sun, German authorities began to suspect Wenzel of plotting against the state after she engaged with ISIS militants in internet chat rooms. She flew to Turkey and was smuggled into Syria shortly thereafter.  

According to Daily Mail, Wenzel was carrying a baby at the time of her arrest. Although she is producing breast milk, it is still unclear if she is the baby's mother.

Wenzel is currently being held in Baghdad, where she awaits charges from Iraq's judiciary system. Though it's unclear whether Wenzel will be charged with the death penalty, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed that Iraq will not rule out its use on account of the suspect's age.

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"You know teenagers under certain laws," said al-Abadi, "they are accountable for their actions especially if the act is a criminal activity when it amounts to killing innocent people."

Wenzel is suspected to have worked with an ISIS brigade that checked whether women on the streets were abiding by the organization's strict dress code. Women whose clothing were unsatisfactory were allegedly whipped and beaten.

Daily Mail reports that Iraqi intelligence forces told The Associated Press that Wenzel was supposedly working with ISIS police forces.

According to The Sun, Wenzel was rumored to be a sniper for ISIS when first captured. However, Wenzel's father, Reiner Wenzel, said that he was told that "Linda was not involved in any acts of war."

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Neither of Wenzel's parents had spoken to her since she left Germany. According to The Sun, they are happy to see her alive and hope she can return to her home country for a fair trial.

Investigation into Wenzel's involvement with ISIS began in Germany shortly after her departure. If tried there, she could face as few as 10 years in prison. Wenzel is likely to face a harsher sentence in Iraq, although according to Daily Mail it is not likely that she would indeed get the death penalty.

The German government has vowed to do "everything in its power" to save German citizens from being executed overseas, The Sun reports. According to Daily Mail, German authorities are reportedly in talks with Baghdad to try to bring Wenzel back to Europe.

Sources: Daily Mail, The Sun (2) / Featured Image: VOA via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Central European News via The Sun (2)

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