German schoolgirl who allegedly joined ISIS may be tried in Iraq

(CNN)A 16-year-old German girl who ran away from home in 2016 and allegedly joined ISIS has been found alive in Iraq, the German government confirmed Monday.


div class=”zn-body__paragraph” speakable”>The sources added that the women have now been moved to Baghdad and are under interrogation.

Wenzel was named on Monday by the German Foreign Ministry, which said a second German national was among those detained.


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“From what we know, she is physically fine,” Dresden prosecutor Lorenz Haase told CNN when asked about Wenzel’s condition. “However we do not know how she is psychologically.”
Haase does not yet know if Wenzel will return to Germany and said she could be put on trial in Iraq.
“If she is proven to be a member of ISIS her case will go to the general federal prosecutor in Germany,” he said.
Wenzel’s parents first alerted the police that Linda had gone missing in July last year, Haase confirmed.
When police learned that the teenager might have converted to Islam and ran away to join ISIS, the case was handed over to the prosecutor in Dresden.
However, the investigation was dropped after Wenzel’s whereabouts could not be determined.
“Now that Linda is identified as the missing girl from Pulsnitz, we will reopen the investigation today or tomorrow on the suspicion that she may have been supporting a terrorist organization or was planning an attack against a foreign state,” said Haase.
“However, we do not know what happened to Linda after she disappeared in Istanbul last year in the summer. We do not know who she was in contact with, what she was doing or whether she was involved in criminal acts or even fighting with [ISIS].

‘I just want to leave’

Iraqi journalist Amir Musawy visited Wenzel last week as part of an investigative team reporting for German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR. According to Musawy, he was the first journalist to gain access to the teenager since she was discovered.
Wenzel had a gunshot wound on her leg but was able to talk and answer questions, Musawy told CNN. He witnessed her being offered medical treatment.
“It seemed to me as she didn’t fully understand what happened to her or what she did,” he said.
“I just want to leave,” she said, according to the report published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). “I want to get away from the war, away from the many weapons, the noise.”
She also said she was ready to testify.
According to the report, Wenzel was a good student who was radicalized quietly.
She suddenly began listening to Arabic music instead of rap and eventually started wearing a headscarf, the report says.
The report says that Wenzel met her future husband — an ISIS fighter — online. After traveling to Istanbul in early July 2016, she says she was taken against her will to Mosul. She married an ISIS soldier who was killed soon after, according to SZ.
More than 930 people — including children — have left Germany to fight alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria, according to the German domestic intelligence service. Authorities estimate that 20% of them are young girls and women.
Wenzel’s hometown of Pulsnitz is a quiet place with just 7,500 inhabitants, the town’s mayor Barbara Luke told CNN.
And her family is a “quiet, totally normal German family,” she said, with no connection to radical Islam or even Islam at all.
CNN’s calls to the Wenzel family have not been returned. They have made no public statements since she went missing.
The Mayor believes the teenager must have been radicalized online as she does not know of anyone in Pulsnitz who could have been Wenzel’s contact.

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