A German teenager, Linda Wenzel, suspected of joining the Islamic State jihadists in Iraq has been arrested in Mosul, a German judicial source said Saturday.
“The Dresden prosecutor confirms that Linda Wenzel was identified in Iraq,” where the 16 year-old girl is receiving German consular assistance, said the prosecutor’s office in Dresden, near the teen’s eastern hometown of Pulsnitz.
German media earlier reported Iraqi soldiers had captured the teenager last week along with several other suspected IS ‘brides’ in a tunnel where they had taken refuge and where weapons and explosives belts had also been uncovered.
Linda Wenzel disappeared last year after apparently making contact with IS members via internet messaging and reportedly converting to Islam.
German weekly Der Spiegel reported Saturday Linda Wenzel had been detained in Baghdad with three other German women and that they had been questioned following the liberation of Mosul from IS control which Iraq reported on July 10.
Spiegel said the Iraqi authorities handed the German embassy a list of names of German women in the area “at the start of the week” and added consular officials had since visited four of them at a prison at Baghdad airport.
The magazine said one of the four was of Moroccan origin and that another was believed to be of Chechen origin but had a German passport.
The German schoolgirl disappeared from her parents’ home in Saxony a year ago after apparently being groomed by jihadist groups online.
The parents of Linda Wenzel have been searching in vain for their daughter since she vanished from her home in the village of Pulsnitz on 1 July last year after converting to Islam in secret.
When she was arrested in a bunker, in the liberated Mosul town, she was found exhausted and dust-covered.
She was arrested by Iraqi forces with a group of 20 female Isis supporters from Russia, Turkey, Canada, Libya and Syria who had barricaded themselves with guns and explosives in a tunnel underneath the ruins of Mosul’s Old City.