Mother of teenage ISIS ‘pin-up poster girl’ who died in Syria SUES the Austrian government for letting her leave the country
- Sabina Selimovic, then 15, from Vienna, fled home to join ISIS in April 2014
- Became ISIS’s ‘poster girl’ along with her friend Samra Kesinovic, then 17
- Both girls are believed to have died in Syria before the fall of ISIS’s ‘caliphate’
- Sabina’s mother believes border guards should’ve stopped the girls from leaving
The mother of one of the Austrian teenagers dubbed ‘jihadi pin-up poster girls’ after they joined ISIS in Syria, is suing the government for letting them leave the country.
Sabina Selimovic was just 15 when she left Vienna with her 16-year-old friend Samra Kesinovic in April 2014, and both are believed to have died in Syria.
Sabina’s mother Senada Selimovic says border guards should have stopped the teenagers from travelling to Turkey, from where they crossed the border into Syria.
Suing: The mother of Sabina Selimovic, who was 15 when she left Vienna with a friend to join ISIS in Syria in 2014, believes the Austrian government should have been able to stop them
In 2015, a United Nations official revealed a girl ‘of Bosnian origin from Austria’ – believed to be Sabina Selimovic – died in fighting in Syria.
According to Mrs Selimovic’s lawyer, the border guards at the airport should have checked whether the girls were ‘leaving the country against their guardians’ will’.
The Austrian state rejected the allegations and a government spokesperson said that it is not forbidden for minors to voluntarily leave the country.
According to local media, there is currently no clear case law on the matter, which means that the Austrian Supreme Court will ultimately make a decision.
Mrs Selimovic still thinks that her daughter, who reportedly got married in Syria, may be alive, even though she has not heard from her for years.
No word: Sabina and 16-year-old friend Samra Kesinovic, pictured left in Vienna and right in Syria, and both are believed to have died in Syria
Pin-ups: The two teenagers became ISIS’s ‘jihadi poster girls’ after arriving in Syria
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
She added: ‘At first she wrote almost every day, and we also received telephone calls. She told me that she was fine and that I did not need to worry.’
Sabina and Samra were children of Bosnian refugees who fled to Austria in the 1990s to escape the war in their homeland.
They reportedly left a note for their families which read: ‘Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah and we will die for him.’
Shortly after arriving in Syria, Sabina, speaking through SMS messages to a French magazine, insisted she was enjoying life in the war-torn region where she felt free to practise her religion.
‘Don’t look for us’: The teenagers, pictured in Syria, disappeared from Austria in April 2014, leaving a note telling their parents they had gone to fight for Allah
She said her husband was a soldier and added: ‘Here I can really be free. I can practice my religion. I couldn’t do that in Vienna.’
Mirsad O., an Islamic preacher from Bosnia living in Vienna, using the name ‘Ebu Tejma’, was allegedly responsible for the radicalisation of the two young girls. He has denied the claims.
Most of Ebu Tejma’s jihadist recruitment network has since been dismantled by Austrian police.
Prosecutors said that Tejma travelled Europe ‘like a pop star on tour’, being spotted driving top-of-the-range sports cars bought with the money he raised from believers.
Tejma was convicted in July 2016 for the promotion of jihad and the recruitment of over 160 fighters for IS in Syria.