Germany arrests French woman who allegedly joined Islamic State in Syria

Islamic State fighters who were arrested in northeast Syria
Islamic State fighters who attacked a prison in northeast Syria were arrested by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2022.
(Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces)

German authorities Thursday announced the arrest of a French woman who allegedly committed war crimes in Syria after joining the extremist group Islamic State.

Germany’s federal prosecutor said the woman, who was identified only as Samra N. in line with German privacy rules, was arrested Tuesday in the western city of Trier.

The woman is suspected of having participated as a member of two foreign terrorist organizations as a teenager, the prosecutor’s statement said.


She allegedly traveled to Syria in September 2013, where she first joined Jabhat al Nusra and married one of the group’s fighters according to Islamic rites. In November 2013, the couple allegedly joined Islamic State.

The Islamic State group announced the death of its little-known leader, Abu Ibrahim Hashimi Qurayshi, who led the group since November.

Aug. 3, 2023

While in Syria, the suspect allegedly tried to persuade people living in Germany to come and join Jabhat al Nusra. She also temporarily took in a woman who had been persuaded to leave the country in this way, authorities say.

The suspect ran the household for her husband and helped him procure military equipment for Islamic State, according to the charges against her.

On two occasions, when her husband was away on combat missions, she allegedly stayed in women’s houses that Islamic State had occupied after driving out the original residents, which Germany considers a “war crime against property.”

She returned to Germany at the beginning of 2014, but remained a member of Islamic State until at least February 2015, prosecutors said. It was not immediately clear why, as a French citizen, she went to Germany.