Joanna Palani, a Danish girl of Kurdish descent who took a year off from college to fight Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, will go on trial this month for violating Denmark’s “foreign fighter” laws.
Palani, who came to Denmark as a refugee when she was three years old, left her life as a politics and philosophy student in Copenhagen in November 2014 to fight for the Kurdish people. (RELATED: Danish Girl Takes Year Off College To Kill ISIS Terrorists)
Palani had her passport confiscated upon returning to Denmark in 2015, and she received a one-year travel ban for participating in the war. Denmark’s “foreign fighter” rules are meant to make it easier for authorities to stop people from joining terror groups. The rules apply to anyone fighting in a war zone without proper authority, regardless of which side they take.
She has admitted violating her ban by traveling to Qatar in June.
Danish authorities arrested Palani last week and her court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20. If convicted, Palani faces up to six months in jail.
“How can I pose a threat to Denmark and other countries by being a soldier in an official army that Denmark trains and supports directly in the fight against the Islamic State?” she wrote on Facebook when she lost her passport, according to The Local.
Palani volunteered in the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, which are backed by Denmark. She previously associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is recognized as a terror organization by the U.S. and the European Union.
Palani has openly talked about her experiences on the battlefield, and how easy it is to kill ISIS fighters, while Assad’s troops are much harder.
“ISIS fighters are very easy to kill, ma’am,” Palani told Vice in an interview in May. “ISIS fighters are very good at sacrificing their own lives, but [Syrian dictator Bashar] Assad’s soldiers are very well trained and they are specialist killing machines.”
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