Two Austrian teens got way more than they bargained for when they abandoned their homes and families to become “poster girls” for ISIS terrorists, and now they desperately want to come home, Western media reported.
Samra Kesinovic, 17, and friend Sabina Selimovic, 15, would love to press the undo button on the last six months, during which they traded their comfortable existence in Europe for a life of evil engineered by terrorists.
The teens are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.
That’s a change of heart from the April note they left behind for their parents that read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah, and we will die for him.” For weeks, social-media accounts believed to belong to the girls had been posting pictures and information that seemed to suggest the young duo enjoyed living a life of terror.
The pictures showed the two girls smiling and wearing their new Muslim garb, sometimes while flanked by armed fighters. Some of the images appeared to show the girls carrying weapons.
But authorities in Austria say it was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS to persuade the world that the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.
Some of the images may have been faked, including some that were taken years earlier of other women and re-posted on the girls social-media pages, Austrian authorities said.
“It is clear that whoever is operating their pages it probably is not the girls and that they are being used for propaganda,” said one Austrian security official.
The teens apparently were lured to ISIS by propaganda preached at their local mosque.
Clerics told them that the only way to know true peace was to head to Syria and take part in the holy war, officials said.
The girls had started lecturing schoolmates about their lifestyle and were even suspected of being behind a vandalism attack at their school calling for jihad.
Austrian media are reporting that Kesinovic and Selimovic have said enough is enough and want to return to their families. Now Kesinovic and Selimovic have had enough and are eager to return to their families, according to CEN. The girls reportedly managed to get word to their families they want to come home.
But reports also said the teens don’t feel they can flee because too many people now associate them with ISIS savagery.
“The main problem is about people coming back to Austria,” said Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck. “Once they leave, it is almost impossible.”
Kesinovic and Selimovic are among the bevy of women ISIS has recruited from around the world. Although its strict interpretation of Islamic law limits a woman’s place in society, women are often recruited into vital support roles through aggressive social-media campaigns that promise devout jihadist husbands.
In May, 16-year-old British twin sisters followed their older brother to Syria so they could marry jihadists, according to London’s Daily Mail. Several weeks ago, a 16-year-old was arrested at a French airport under suspicion she was traveling to Syria to join Islamist rebels.
A 15-year-old French girl named Nora, the daughter of Moroccan immigrants, was lured by Syria through Facebook, according to her brother Foad.She has said she wants to come home, and Foad traveled to Syria — but he was not allowed to leave with her.
“As soon as they manage to snare a girl, they do everything they can to keep her,” Foad said. “Girls aren’t there for combat, just for marriage and children. A reproduction machine.”