Linda Wenzel fled her hometown of Pulsnitz Germany at the age of 15 to join ISIS. Last week, she was found alive with a baby in Mosul following a shootout battle with Iraqi forces and the terrorist group, according to Newsweek.
Wenzel vanished in July of 2016, and managed to catch a flight out of the country to Istanbul, later to be smuggled into Syria. How she purchased the ticket is unclear, but she managed to slip away by lying to her parents. She said she was spending the weekend at a friend’s house.
The baby boy she was found with was malnourished, and transferred to an army clinic for treatment before the two were taken to Baghdad. The Times reports that Wenzel was producing breast milk, and an Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) soldier reportedly met her the night of her arrest said “she keeps him with her always.”
“She is so young, ISIS just brainwashed her,” he told The Times. He also expressed that he believes young Wenzel’s ISIS fighter husband was killed in an airstrike.
Evidence suggests that she was shooting at the Iraqi forces before being discovered. The three women who were with her, reportedly ordinary citizens, say she had been manning a weapon from their hideout. In the meantime, Wenzel is being held in an Iraqi prison until an investigation is concluded.
It was reported that she was in her cell saying, “I just want to get away from here.”
“I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise,” she said. “I just want to go home to my family.”
But when Iraqi soldiers found her, she was supposedly extremely resistant towards receiving any help. The ISOF soldier who spoke with The Times used the words “unrepentant” and “uncooperative.”
“I don’t think she regretted joining Isis because she looked angry and she refused any help that we provide,” he said.
Going forward, the young girl’s future is unknown: Iraqi authorities have the ability to sentence Wenzel to death for fighting with the terrorist organization, or they could return her home to Germany. The Daily Mail reports that discussions are taking place to potentially execute this transaction.
But once home, she risks being sentenced to approximately 10 years in prison because during her absence German police looked into her activities related to ISIS.