German woman charged with membership in Islamic State group

February 18, 2022 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Germany said Friday they have formally charged a German woman with membership in a foreign terrorist organization for traveling to Syria with her young son to join the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors said Verena M., whose surname wasn’t released for privacy reasons, has also been indicted on charges of child endangerment, breaching her duty of care as a parent and breaking arms control laws.

In a statement, federal prosecutors accused her of leaving Germany for Turkey with her son in 2015, against the father’s wishes. She then traveled to the Iraqi city of Mosul, where she joined the Islamic State, later moving to Raqqa in Syria.

During her time with the Islamic State, M. is alleged to have benefited from financial and housing support the group provided. In return she allegedly ran the household for her new husband, a fighter with the group, and educated her son according to the group’s radical ideas.

Prosecutors also accuse her of possessing two assault rifles.

M. was captured by Kurdish forces in 2019 and brought back to Germany two years later.