Samra Kesinovic was an Austrian teen girl who ran away to Syria to join ISIS militant, and now reports indicate that the 16-year-old has been killed.
Authorities said they believe the teen was killed in an attack on ISIS.
“We also have this information and have checked it, but cannot say with absolute certainty that it is true,” Alexander Marakovits, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, told The Salzburger News. “But the parents have been informed their daughter could be dead.”
Kesinovic and her 15-year-old friend Sabina Selimovic left their homes in Vienna earlier this year after converting to Islam and growing more radical in their faith. The head of the school the girls attended said the pair tried to convince others to join their cause, and showed signs of growing more and more extreme in their beliefs.
“There were vandalism incidents in which tables and walls had the words ‘I love Al Qaeda’ written on them,” said Peter Slanar.
Shortly after running away to Syria and joining ISIS, the girls posted pictures of themselves holding assault rifles. Austrian authorities worried that the pair were being used to recruit others, especially Westerners.
“If we can catch them before they leave, we have the chance to work with their parents and other institutions to bring the youngsters out of the sphere of influence that prompted them to act in this way in the first place,” Marakovits said. “Once they have left the country, even if they then changed their minds, it is then almost impossible to get them back.”
The pair are among a growing number of Westerners who have joined ISIS in their campaign in the Middle East. The group has taken over large portions of Iraq and Syria, exerting a brutal control that includes mass execution of soldiers and even civilians who do not share their same radical beliefs.
There have been reports of hundreds, possibly thousands, of UK residents who have taken up arms with ISIS, including the suspected executioner of American journalist James Foley.
It has still not been verified if Austrian teen and ISIS convert Samra Kesinovic was killed in Syria.