An Austrian teen who fled to Syria with her friend was reportedly beaten to death after being caught trying to escape the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
Samra Kesonic, 17, reportedly arrived in Syria in April 2014. She was accompanied by her friend, Sabina Selimovic.
Local Austrian newspapers have reported that Samra was beaten to death after attempting to escape from Raqqa. Official government sources are declining to comment on individual cases.
According to The Local, a Tunisian woman who lived with Samra and Sabina in Raqqa confirmed the news. The unnamed source said she was able to escape from ISIS.
Senior Israeli expert of the United Nations Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee, David Scharia, issued the following statement:
“We received information just recently about two 15-year-old girls, of Bosnian origin, who left Austria, where they had been living in recent years; and everyone, the families and the intelligence services of the two countries, is looking for them.
Both were recruited by the Islamic State. One was killed in the fighting in Syria, the other has disappeared.”
The statement comes three months after the Austrian government informed both sets of parents that one of the girls might have been killed, according to reports.
Authorities say an Islamic preacher named Mersad in Vienna is responsible for radicalizing the teenage girls. He denied the allegations, but was later arrested for his alleged role in funding ISIS through a terrorist funding network based in Austria in November.
It is believed that Samra and Sabina both married IS fighters as soon as they arrived in Syria. Sabina, who spoke with French magazine Paris Match, said she was enjoying life in Syria.
“Here I can really be free,” she told the Paris Match. “I can practice my religion. I couldn't do that in Vienna.”