She is considered one of the most famous ISIS returnees in Germany: Kim Teresa A. from Frankfurt has been sentenced to four years in prison. The 32-year-old had told her IS story to journalists – the prosecution was based on this.
In the trial against a sympathizer of the terrorist organization Islamic State (IS), the 32-year-old woman was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday. The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (OLG) saw among other things the membership of Kim Teresa A. in a foreign terrorist organization as proven.
Defender Gysi: “worst mistake of her life”
In their judgment, the judges went beyond the demands of the Attorney General’s office, which had requested three years and three months imprisonment. The defense of their lawyer, the left-wing politician Gregor Gysi, on the other hand, in view of their turning away from IS and their difficult social circumstances, considered a much lower sentence to be appropriate, without specifying a specific sentence.
Gysi had declared: “My client made the worst mistake of her life when she followed her Turkish partner and ended up with the so-called Islamic State.”
Homes taken over from displaced Syrians
The trial of Kim Teresa A. began in June. The prosecution accused her of going to Syria in 2014 as a 25-year-old with her then-husband Onur E. to join the IS. She supported her husband in fighting for IS. According to the prosecution, while he was at the front, she kept the house for him “as intended for the wife of a fighter” and looked after him in the event of illness.
She lived with her husband in several apartments from which the Syrian owners had been forcibly evicted. In addition, by owning two Kalashnikov rifles, she violated the War Weapons Control Act.
The couple lived on IS money
Kim Teresa A. by no means only looked after her husband, but ran a chat group with other women for IS sympathizers in Germany who were also considering emigrating to Syria. She learned how to use an assault rifle and a Kalashnikov from her husband and had the weapons with her that were always loaded. The verdict stated that she had set out “voluntarily and on her own initiative” to help build an Islamic state.
In Syria, she followed her husband to his respective locations and supported his fighting. The couple lived off the services of the terrorist organization, according to the court. In addition, the couple received a monthly sum of money from the IS, half of which was expressly intended for the defendants as remuneration for their work as the wife of an IS fighter.
Court: Islamist attitude in years after 2009
When A. decided to leave the IS area in the spring of 2016, she by no means broke away from the organization’s ideas, but realized that the situation in the region was becoming increasingly dangerous given the advance of opposing forces, according to the court.
Years before, she had already had contact with the highest circles of the radical Islamic scene in Germany. The State Security Senate saw in its decision a “solid Islamist-fundamentalist attitude”, which Kim Theresa A. had appropriated in the years after 2009. “She did not travel to Syria in 2014 out of love for her husband,” said the presiding judge, Christoph Koller.
Judges do not see Kim Teresa A. as a follower
The court assessed the fact that A. voluntarily broke away from IS and published information as mitigating. In her appearance in court, she credibly showed remorse, even if she downplayed her own role. She was not a follower, as she presented herself. The court relied on testimony, but also on passages from the book “Maryam A .: My life in the caliphate”, which the journalist Christoph Reuter published in 2017. In the first person perspective, the path of women to IS is described. The name Maryam A. is a pseudonym.
The testimony of another journalist who had planned to write a book about Kim Teresa A. was also used. The defense had strongly criticized this approach. The judgment is not yet final – the revision is expected.
End of further information