Germany arrests French woman who allegedly committed war crimes after joining IS in Syria

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities said Thursday they had arrested a French woman who allegedly committed war crimes is Syria after joining the Islamic State extremist group.

Germany’s federal prosecutor said the woman, who was only identified as Samra N. in line with German privacy rules, was arrested Tuesday in the western city of Trier.

The woman is suspected of having participated as a member of two foreign terrorist organizations as a teenager, the prosecutor’s statement said.

She allegedly traveled to Syria in September 2013, where she first joined Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate at the time, and married one of the group’s fighters according to Islamic rites. In November 2013, the couple joined the Islamic State extremist group.

Syria was in the throes of a civil war that broke out following a brutal government crackdown on pro-democracy mass protests in 2011. Protesters took up arms and the unrest eventually devolved into a civil war that drew in Islamic extremists and fighters from around the world.

While in Syria, N. allegedly tried to persuade people living in Germany to also go to Syria to become a member of Jabhat al-Nusra. She also temporarily took in a woman who had been persuaded to leave the country in this way.

The suspect ran the household for her husband and helped him procure military equipment for IS, according to the charges.

On two occasions, when her husband was away on combat missions, she stayed in women’s houses that IS had occupied after driving out the original residents, which Germany considers a “war crime against property.”

N. returned to Germany at the beginning of 2014, but remained a member of IS until at least February 2015, prosecutors said. It was not immediately clear why, as a French citizen, she went to Germany.

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