ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan Region) – A German teenager who joined the Islamic State (IS) in Mosul is likely to stand trial in Iraq and could face the death penalty, according to German diplomats.
German authorities are trying to bring 16-year-old Linda Wenzel back to Europe where she could spend a decade in prison as the country opposes the death penalty.
Following a nine-month long battle against IS in Mosul, their de facto capital and last stronghold in the country, Iraqi troops arrested several extremists hiding in the city.
Wenzel was arrested after Iraqi forces discovered a group of 20 female IS supporters from various countries hiding inside a tunnel.
The women barricaded themselves under the rubble of Mosul with guns and explosives.
The German teen was reported missing from her home town of Pulsnitz, near Dresden, in Germany last July as her parents desperately looked for her.
Wenzel converted to Islam after she was allegedly “groomed by IS members on social media,” German media reported.
When the teen was arrested, Lorenz Hasse, a local prosecutor in Dresden, said the teen could face trial in Iraq for her crimes.
“[Wenzel] might be put on trial in Iraq,” Hasse said at the time of the arrest.
“She might, as a foreigner, be expelled, or because she is a minor reported missing in Germany, she could be handed over to Germany,” the prosecutor noted.
According to Iraqi counter-terrorism laws, the 16-year-old could face the death penalty, but only after she turns 22, the Associated Press reported.
Wenzel remains detained in Baghdad along with three other German women who are awaiting prosecution following the liberation of Mosul. The condition under which they are being held is unknown at this time.
Editing by Ava Homa