19-year-old Dutchwoman remanded after mum rescues her from IS

Posted By: PTI
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19-year-old Dutchwoman remanded after mum rescues her from IS
Maastricht (Netherlands), Nov 21: A blonde, blue-eyed Dutch 19-year-old who was rescued by her mother after marrying an Islamic State fighter in Syria, was ordered today to be detained pending possible terror charges.

A convert to Islam who travelled to Syria in February to marry an IS fighter she saw as a Robin Hood figure, Aicha was arrested after landing back in the Netherlands with her mother Monique on Wednesday. The court in her southern hometown of Maastricht on Friday ordered her continued detention on suspicion of "crimes threatening state security".

"Today the examining judge has reviewed the custody order of Aicha and concluded that it was lawful," court spokesman Marc Bax told journalists after the hearing. Another hearing on Tuesday will decide if the young woman, known as Sterlina before she adopted an Arab name, should be held for another 14 days and possibly charged.

Public prosecutor Martina Bijker said that if Aicha were found to have fought alongside IS she could face up to 30 years in prison. "Aicha is accused of joining a criminal organisation in Syria with the intent of joining criminals with terrorist activities," Bijker said.

"We are still not sure what happened and what the charge will ultimately be or if there will be a charge," said Bijker. As is routine in the preliminary stage of Dutch prosecutions, Aicha's family name was not made public.

European nations are increasingly concerned about returning jihadist fighters, but the question of what to do with women who travel to Iraq and Syria but do not fight is a thorny one. The authorities have barred Monique and Aicha's lawyers from talking to the press because of the sensitivity of the case.

But Monique, 49, has previously spoken at length to Dutch media about her daughter, who "liked going out, playing the piano and listening to music". She told Dutch television that her daughter first came home with the Bible, and then with the Koran. She converted to Islam and began wearing a face-covering niqab.


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