Germany arrests woman accused of joining IS in Syria

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities on Tuesday arrested a woman accused of traveling to Syria with her four young children to join the Islamic State group, as well as her brother-in-law, who is accused of helping her.

The federal prosecutor’s office identified the pair only as Fadia S. and Rabih O., in line with German privacy rules. It said both are dual citizens of Germany and Lebanon, and they were arrested in Essen and Hildesheim respectively.

Fadia S. is accused of offenses including membership in IS and gross violation of her parental duties. Rabih O. is accused of supporting IS and violating German export laws.

Prosecutors said Fadia S. traveled to Syria in 2015 to join her husband, who had previously left Germany to join IS. She took her children, then aged 3 to 8, and the family allegedly lived in accommodation in the IS stronghold of Raqqa that the group had commandeered.

As the territory held by IS shrank, Fadia S. and her by-then five children fled to Turkey in early 2018 and returned to Germany, prosecutors said.

Rabih O. is accused of giving his brother a variety of financial and logistical support and of helping Fadia S. travel to Syria to join him.

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