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15 Year-Old German Girl Runs Away to Join Jihad in Syria

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A young Muslim girl aged 15 from Konstantz, Germany has run away from home to fight in Syria. She forged her father's signature to obtain her passport and travelled to Syria where she married a German jihadi from Cologne. She and her husband, aged 16 are now living in Syria where he is fighting in an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group.

In a letter to her friends, Sara told them she was now in Syria with Al Qaeda. On social media, she said that she had come to help her husband in his struggle.

Sara, whose last  name is unknown, left Germany over the winter school holidays and vanished after setting out for Syria. She married her husband on January 4. German authorities suspect that they have joined the jihadis in Aleppo, where they are believed to be fighting for ISIS (Islamic Sate in Iraq and Syria), the jihadi group that was expelled from Al Qaeda for what was deemed as excessive brutality and refusal to obey orders. 

The regional criminal investigation office in Stuttgart said it has been established that she has been trained in the use of weapons.

Sara belonged to the hardline sect of Islam known as Salafism. Many Salafi girls both in Germany and other countries in Europe seek to marry jihad fighters, as it is regarded as a very holy and noble cause. 

It seems that she did not go to Syria specifically to get married, but rather because she believed in the ideals of jihad and was ready to fight.

Her husband had been arrested in the past, before they were married, for attacking a police patrol car and attempting to steal their firearms. When asked why, he said that he wanted to "kill americans." His  mother was twice stopped at Cologne airport, en route to Turkey, carrying AK-47 magazines, sniper rifle sights and their passports.

The news was reported in the Palestinian owned, pan-Arab London based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which translates as Arab Jerusalem. It has a reputation as one of the most aggressive and populist pan-Arab daily papers.

The paper first came to prominence in 1996 when it interviewed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and published his fatwa a "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places."

Below are examples, translated from Arabic, of readers comments on the Al-Quds Al-Arabi article:

 

"Mujahadeen (jihadi fighters) need sex-jihadis, don't they."

(This is referring to the idea of "sex-jihad" where women are obliged to travel to sleep with the jihadi fighters in order to boost their morale, enabling them to fight better.) 

 

"What's she going to do? Provide sex? Help in the kitchen?"

 

"Prostitution in the name of Jihad."

 

As of December 2013, 1,500 to 2,000 Europeans were believed to have travelled to Syria to join the war. Many Muslims from Germany, in particular, have traveled to Syria to join jihadis fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.