German woman to become first European female executed in Iraq for belonging to Isil

An Iraqi court condemned to death by hanging a German woman after finding her guilty of belonging to the Islamic State jihadist group.

She is one of hundreds of foreign jihadists held by Iraqi authorities, who in December announced the defeat of Isil after a gruelling three-year battle. She is believed to be the first European woman to be sentenced to death in Iraq in relation to Isil.

The woman, who is of Moroccan origin, was sentenced for providing "logistical support and helping the terrorist group to carry out crimes," said court spokesman Abdel Settar Bayraqdar.

"The accused admitted during interrogations that she left Germany for Syria then Iraq to join Isil with her two daughters, who married members of the terrorist organisation," he said.

The woman, who was not identified, has 30 days to appeal, after which she could be executed, said legal expert Ezzedine al-Mohammadi.

A judicial source said that one of the woman’s two daughters had been killed while with the jihadists.

The German media has reported that a German named Lamia K and her daughter left Mannheim in August 2014 and were arrested by Iraqi forces during the final stages of the battle to oust IS from its stronghold Mosul last July.

At least two other German women are also in prison in Iraq, whose authorities have not officially said how many jihadists were taken prisoner during the battle against Isil.

One of them is Linda Wenzel, who was nicknamed Belle of Mosul, after being pictures dragged from the ruble during the closing stage of the bloody battle for the city.

In December, Human Rights Watch reported that 7,374 people had been found guilty and 92 executed since 2014 under Iraq’s anti-terrorism law.

Special report | Escape from Isil

The New York-based group reported numerous accusations that security forces had used torture to extract confessions.

Baghdad declared victory over Isil in December, after expelling the jihadists from second city Mosul in a gruelling months-long offensive.

In the province surrounding Mosul alone, more than 4,000 jihadists were arrested, police chief General Wathiq al-Hamdani said.

Researcher Kim Cragin of the National Defense University wrote on the Lawfare security blog in late November that 5,395 foreigners were in jail in Syria and Iraq.

The Soufan Centre, a nonprofit security analysis group, reported in October that 190 German women with 70 children had joined the Isil "caliphate".

According to the German intelligence services, 910 people left Germany to join jihadist groups in Syria or Iraq.

About a third of them returned to the country, 70 of whom are considered combatants, while 145 were killed.

In September 2017, a Baghdad court sentenced to death by hanging a Russian man who was captured in Mosul and found guilty of fighting for Isil.

In December, a Swede of Iraqi origin was among 38 people executed after being convicted of "terrorism".

Despite the jihadists’ quasi-state being reduced to tatters, Isil has continued to carry out attacks including in Baghdad.

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