Sweden sentences woman for taking child to Islamic State area in Syria

A southern Swedish court sentenced a woman to three years in prison for taking her 2-year-old son to Syria in 2014, to an area that was then controlled by the Islamic State group.

The woman, who lived in the southern town of Landskrona, has allegedly told the child’s father that she and the boy were only going on a holiday to Turkey. However, once in Turkey, the two crossed into Syria and ISIS-run territory.

The Lund District Court said the woman, who was not named, took the child to an area “where there was war and an environment characterized by the violent ideology of the Islamic State group.”

The court, which did not identify the woman’s nationality, rejected her claims that she had only intended to go to Syria for a few days to see how it was there and then return home. She also told the court that she had become interested in religion after the death of a close relative.

“She intended to move to Syria with her son and settle there permanently, and took her son away from his father in an arbitrary manner,” said the court statement.

In 2017, when the Islamic State’s reign began to collapse, she fled from Raqqa — the city that was known as the capital of the so-called ISIS “caliphate” — and was captured by Syrian Kurdish troops, the Sydsvenska daily wrote. She managed to escape to Turkey where she was arrested with her son and two other children she had given birth to in the meantime, with an ISIS foreign fighter from Tunisia, the daily wrote. She was extradited from Turkey to Sweden.