Teenage ISIS ‘poster girl’ who travelled to Syria ‘beaten to death after trying to escape Raqqa’
A teen who became a ‘poster girl’ for ISIS after travelling to Syria along with her friend is believed to have been beaten to death while trying to flee the terror organisation.
Samra Kesinovic, 17, who left home in April 2014 was killed after she tried to escape Raqqa, Austrian media have claimed.
Her friend Sabina Selimovic, who was 15 when she left her Austrian home, is also believed to have died in the war torn Middle Eastern country.
Tabloid Osterreich quotes an insider who said the girls were living with women in a house in the ISIS stronghold when Samra was caught as she tried to escape.
The pair, whose parents are Bosnian refugees, had disappeared in April last year after saying that they wanted to fight in Syria.
They left behind a note telling their parents: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah – and we will die for him”.
Once they arrived it is believed they were married off to local fighters and both the girls were thought to have been pregnant at one stage.
Security officials believe they first went to the Turkish capital Ankara by plane, and then on into the southern Turkish region of Adana. After that, their tracks were lost.
David Scharia, a senior Israeli expert of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, revealed the UN had received information that one of the girls had been killed – but was unable to say which one.
He said: “We received information just recently about two 15-year-old girls, of Bosnian origin, who left Austria, where they had been living in recent years; and everyone, the families and the intelligence services of the two countries, is looking for them.
“Both were recruited by Islamic State. One was killed in the fighting in Syria, the other has disappeared.”
Confirmation of one of the girls’ death came just three months after the Austrian government said it had informed both sets of parents of the girls that one of them might have been killed.
A short while after the pair fled their homes they appeared on social networking sites brandishing Kalashnikov rifles and surrounded by armed men – photos which Austrian police said acted as recruitment posters for young girls.
An Islamic preacher from Bosnia living in Vienna, Mirsad O., known by the Islamic name of ‘Ebu Tejma’, was allegedly responsible for the radicalization of the two young girls. Authorities say he brainwashed them into joining the jihad. He denies this.
Mirsad O. was arrested for his role in an alleged terrorist funding network based in Austria in November.
As many as 130 people from Austria are now believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad. Experts say at least half of them originally come from the Caucasus region of Russia and were granted asylum in Austria after the bloody Chechen war.
Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Marakovits said they were noticing an increasing problem with youngsters wanting to leave the country to fight in the ranks of ISIS.
He said: “If we can catch them before they leave we have the chance to work with their parents and other institutions to bring the youngsters out of the sphere of influence that prompted them to act in this way the first place.
“Once they have left the country, even if they then changed their minds, it is then almost impossible to get them back.”