German woman jailed for taking son to Syria to join IS

BERLIN (AP) — A German woman was convicted Tuesday of membership in the Islamic State group and other offenses for traveling to Syria to join the organization with her young son. She was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

The Duesseldorf state court said Verena M., whose full name wasn’t released in line with German privacy rules, was convicted of membership in a foreign terrorist organization and abduction of a minor, among other charges.

The court found that the defendant traveled to Syria in 2015 with her son, then aged 5, without the knowledge of the child’s father. It found that she ran the household and brought up her son in line with IS ideology while her new husband fought for the group, and that the couple had two Kalashnikov rifles.

The child was lucky to emerge unscathed from two bombing attacks during their time with IS, judges found. The defendant surrendered to Kurdish forces in 2019. She and her three children — two more were born in Syria — were repatriated to Germany in October last year.

The case is one of several in Germany involving women who traveled to IS-held terroritory. Last month, a German who took her young daughter to Syria and allegedly took advantage of an enslaved Yazidi woman was given a sentence of three years and three months.

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