Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
Last week it was revealed that the girls’ flight from their families in the Austrian capital Vienna to Syria had made them an inspiration for other girls to do the same. Police also said there had been several copycat incidents in which young girls had been stopped at the border in Austria attempting to leave.
Samra Kesinovic was just 16-years-old and her friend Sabina Selimovic 15-years-old when they vanished this year from their homes in Vienna and then posted images of themselves branding Kalashnikov rifles, and in some cases surrounded by armed men.
But now Austrian police said one of the two is believed to have been killed. Konrad Kogler, Director General for Public Security, refused to confirm which the girls was rumoured to have died or where the rumours came from, but he said: “The parents of the girl concerned have been informed that there is a risk their daughter is now dead.”
Police say the pair’s parents were from Bosnia but moved to make new lives for themselves in Austria. The teens were persuaded to leave the country after meeting people on the internet, and also from attending a mosque near their home.
Police managed to track them to the Turkish border and believe that after that they went by car into the war zone where they were married to extremists and then also sent out to fight. Girls are being used increasingly in the fighting because of the belief that anybody killed by a girl will never find their way to heaven.
After their departure via Turkey, the teenagers regularly posted status updates on social media from Syria. Interpol has been searching for the girls since April.
As many as 130 people from Austria are now believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad. More than half of Austrian’s jihadists originally come from the Caucasus region and have a valid residence permit in Austria.