• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'Worst time of my life' says teen who planned to join Isis
The girl at the court in Vienna. Photo: AP/TT

'Worst time of my life' says teen who planned to join Isis

The Local · 18 Feb 2016, 15:41

Published: 18 Feb 2016 10:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Feb 2016 15:41 GMT+01:00

The teenager was sentenced to a year in prison by the court in Vienna, but told that she would not be asked to spend any further time in jail because she has been in custody since her arrest.

"It has been the worst time of my life. Now I just want to go home," the school girl told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter just after the verdict was announced.

"I am happy that my client is free, that was the goal. My client is happy to leave Austria," added her lawyer Wolfgang Blaschitz.

The girl was tracked down by Austrian police last December to Vienna’s Westbahnhof rail station, after her parents reported her missing from her home in Linköping in southern Sweden and told police they suspected she had become radicalized after watching Isis videos.

Austrian detectives said she was planning to travel from Vienna to Syria. But Blaschitz, argued his client was not guilty and suggested she ran away from home because she was "naive" and unhappy, and had no final destination in mind.

The teenager had made her way to Vienna by bus and train via Gothenburg, Malmö, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Munich. In Vienna, the suspect said she planned to meet with three girls from Somali families and was hoping to do some sight seeing in the Austrian city.

However, the Austrian prosecutor accused her of planning to travel onto Syria to join jihadist fighters.

The girl's mobile phone records formed a core part of the evidence given at the trial. They included messages such as "but if they cannot be converted, they must be killed" and texts in which she expressed happiness about the Paris terror attacks in November 2015.

Isis propaganda photos were also discovered, including images of beheadings. 

The girl told DN on Thursday that she would "never save these pictures and talk to these kinds of people".

However her father suggested to the newspaper that she had been "brainwashed with ideology".

After her arrest, Sweden did not request that the schoolgirl be extradited, because under Swedish law preparing for a trip to join the jihad is not currently a criminal offence, although it is in Austria.

Story continues below…

The girl has not been named by Swedish or Austrian media due to her age, but is understood to have been born and raised in Sweden. She was attending a high school in Skäggetorp, an area of Linköping with a growing proportion of immigrant families and higher than average unemployment.

The TT news agency reported that she would attend a youth programme designed to help her question and leave behind any radical beliefs.

Elisabeth Gustafsson, who chairs the city's social welfare committee told the TT news agency that she would also be helped by local authorities following her return to Sweden.

"Social services will give her the support and help we can give. What we wish is that she can come home as quickly as possible after this, and there is good preparation for that as well," she said.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Swedes discover secret 150-metre-long cave
Per Bäckström on his way into the cave. Photo: Alexander Bennerstål/TT

They are believed to be the first people to venture into this hidden cave on the Baltic island of Gotland.

No arrests after boy's death in Gothenburg grenade attack
The scene at the apartment in Biskopsgården two days after the attack.Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

UPDATED: Almost 200 people paid their respects at the funeral of an eight-year-old boy killed in a Gothenburg grenade attack. But police told The Local they have yet to make any arrests in the case.

Swedish couple banned from owning animals kept 100 cats
Not the cats mentioned in the article. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Animal protection officers seized around 100 cats from the couple in Halland.

'Unfriendly' Swedes give expats the cold shoulder
Is it difficult to make friends with Scandinavians? Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

Sweden is among the most difficult countries for foreigners to feel at home in, according to a new survey.

Is this the most Swedish wedding cake ever?
A chocolate ball enters a mouth. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

That's a lot of balls!

Sweden's most beautiful places revealed
West-coast serenity in Onsala, Halland. Photo: Mikael Tigerström

Is the west coast the best coast?

Swedish woman bumps into bear near pub
This is not the bear Valeria Möller met in Skellefteå. Photo: Bernard Boehne

If you go down to the pub tonight...

Stockholm school segregates boys and girls in gym class
A gym class for first-graders. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

"Some of our girls want to be able to take off their veils and wear shorts and T-shirts in their classes," a teacher explained.

This Brit moved to Sweden and opened his dream café
Härnösand café owner Shaun Corby. Photo: Johanna Corby

Shaun Corby tells The Local how following his Swedish wife to Härnösand turned out to be the best move he ever made.

Missing Swedish billionaire found dead
In the early 1980s, Ericsson was known as the ’Golden boy’ of the west coast. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Swedish entrepreneur and billionaire Christer Ericsson, who went missing during a fishing trip two months ago, has been found dead on the west coast.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Gallery
People-watching: August 26th-28th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,381
jobs available