Female ISIS member sentenced to prison in Germany

In 2015, a German-Russian woman who now lives in Austria followed her husband to the ISIS pseudo-state in Syria. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has sentenced her to one year and nine months in prison, but she will not have to go to jail.


The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has sentenced an ISIS returnee to one year and nine months in prison. The 36-year-old woman from Detmold was found guilty of, among other things, membership of a foreign terrorist organisation, as the court announced yesterday. However, the woman will not have to go to prison: the sentence is considered "completely served" because she has already served time on remand in Iraq.

Fatima M. is originally from Chechnya and was born in Russia. She has German citizenship and now lives in Austria. According to the court's findings, she followed her husband Magomed A. to Syria in the summer of 2015 with her sons, who were four and eight years old at the time. There, the family moved into a house provided by ISIS and integrated themselves into the structures of the jihadist militia. The couple also received monthly payments from the militia.

According to ISIS ideology, M. took care of the household and brought up the children. Meanwhile, her husband completed military and religious training. He was apparently killed in a "combat mission" shortly after the family moved to the ISIS pseudo-state, presumably in October 2015. M. then remarried and from then on lived in a house in the city of Mosul in the north of Iraq. In early summer 2017, shortly before the end of the "Battle of Mosul", she was discovered there in a cellar and arrested. A court in Baghdad later sentenced her to one year in prison for illegal entry into Iraq, and she was extradited to the German authorities in February 2019.

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court's judgement against M. was also for breach of her duties of care and upbringing because she had taken her two young children from Detmold to a war zone. The sons are presumed dead as a result of an air raid. The court considered the loss of her sons to be a significantly mitigating factor in the sentence and its judgement fell short of the demands of the public prosecutor's office, which had called for a total prison sentence of two years. The judgement is not yet final; the Federal Court of Justice will have to decide on an appeal.