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Daughters of Jihad: The German Women of Islamic State

 

 

Much is known about men leaving Germany to take up arms on behalf of Islamic State. Less has been reported about the flocks of women traveling to Syria to join the jihad. Experts view them as a growing terrorist threat

 

The late 19th-century buildings where they lived are still there, their facades having been carefully renovated, but the apartments within are no longer inhabited by the bourgeoisie. Compact and mid-sized cars now line the streets. It has become a popular neighborhood for students and young families.

Fatma B. lived here as well. A doe-eyed 17-year-old with black hair, she resided here with her parents and three siblings in a fourth-floor apartment of a newer building, complete with a steel balcony hanging over the street. The family’s shoes are arranged neatly by size outside the apartment’s front door and the staircase is filled with the odor of pork roast emanating from below. Fatma’s father, Hamdi B., opens the door. “What do you want? She’s gone,” he says gruffly.

His hair carefully combed, he tips his head to the side. It’s not hard to imagine 48-year-old Hamdi B. as a friendly, even cheerful, man. But now his eyes are full of nothing but sadness. “She is gone,” he repeats.

The police already visited the family home to ask him about Fatma’s disappearance and he is scheduled to appear in court soon as a witness. “I have said everything there is to say,” Hamdi B. insists, as though that could protect him from additional questions.

 

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Source: Spiegel Online