Wednesday 10/20/21
TERRORISM

Sweden convicts woman over abducting son to Islamic State territory

The boy's father, whom she had divorced, had agreed to let her take their son to Turkey for a holiday, but the court found that she continued on to territory in Syria controlled by Islamic State.
US Army troops deployed on a highway in Syria. Photo: Ivan Omar Hassib from Pexels.
US Army troops deployed on a highway in Syria. Photo: Ivan Omar Hassib/Pexels.

A Swedish court on Monday sentenced a woman to a three-year prison sentence for abducting her young son and taking him to an area in Syria controlled by the Islamic State terrorist movement.

The Swedish-born Palestinian woman, 31, left the southern Swedish city of Landskrona in August 2014 with her son, then roughly 2.

The boy's father, whom she had divorced, had agreed to let her take their son to Turkey for a holiday, but the court found that she continued on to territory in Syria controlled by Islamic State  without permission from the boy's father.

The district court in the southern city of Lund ruled she had stayed voluntarily in Syria, and rejected her claim that she had just intended to make a brief visit out of religious interest.

The woman, who was radicalized before leaving Sweden, had claimed that she was held against her will: by Islamic State until the end of 2017, and subsequently by Kurdish forces at the al-Hol refugee camp in north-eastern Syria.

Aware of violence

She married in Syria a month after arriving there and had two daughters with her new husband, a Tunisian foreign fighter. Her Facebook posts suggested she did not intend to return to Sweden, the court said.

The court added that the woman was aware of the conflict in Syria and Islamic State's violent methods when she went there. By travelling to Syria, she denied the boy's father contact with his son.

She escaped last year from al-Hol to Turkey with her three children, and was subsequently deported to Sweden.

The boy's father was granted sole custody in June 2015.

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