ISIS has been very successful in recruiting would-be fighters to join its ranks from countries in Europe and around the world, but the promises made to them in many cases have not been kept, as the cases of Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, from Austria prove.
The girls left the relative comfort of their European homes some months ago in order to join ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.
Back in April, the girls left notes behind for their parents, telling them, “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah, and we will die for him,” as they embarked on their new lives with their new friends in ISIS. For weeks after that, the girls posted images and posts via their social media accounts claiming they were loving their new lives.
The girl’s social media pages were filled with images showing them apparently happy in full Muslim garb, often flanked by real ISIS fighters with guns, while in some of the images the girls themselves are carrying weapons.
According to Austrian authorities though, the whole thing was an elaborate ploy, engineered by ISIS to portray life in Syria under their regime as good and positive.
One Austrian security official said, “It is clear that whoever is operating their pages it probably is not the girls and that they are being used for propaganda.”
The New York Post reports that the teens, who were friends from back home, fell into the ISIS trap due to propaganda speeches they heard at their local mosque as they were told by preachers that the only way to know true peace was to head to Syria and take part in the “holy war” there.
Before they left, the girls had reportedly been preaching to their classmates about moving to Syria, and were allegedly behind at least one vandalism attack at their school calling for “Jihad.”
According to Austrian media outlets, the girls are sick and tired of life in Syria and want to return to their families in Austria ; the girls got word to their families that they were “ready to come home.”
Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told reporters, “The main problem is about people coming back to Austria. Once they leave, it is almost impossible (to return).”