Austrian teen jihadist ‘likely killed’ in Syria

The 19-year-old Austrian jihadist with Tunisian roots Firas Houidi, who was believed to be fighting with fellow jihadists in Syria may have been killed, according to a report in the Friday edition of the daily newspaper Kurier.

Austrian teen jihadist 'likely killed' in Syria
Firas Houidi (19) and Oliver N. (16). Photo: private Facebook

Houidi is currently the target of an international arrest warrant.  The newspaper cites a blog called Africa News for the report.  Another blogger from Innsbruck with Afghan roots claims to have heard a report of his death by the wife of the Austrian jihadist who last year claimed to have been radicalized at a mosque in Floridsdorf, while declaring allegiance to Isis.

According to the Kurier, Austrian authorities claim to have seen no evidence of the jihadist's alleged death.  "It's the first we heard of this", they said.  Intelligence circles also commented that no evidence of the death has been obtained, but note that it is common for Isis fighters to fake their own deaths, then take on new identities.

Houidi was last heard from in the Syrian city of Raqqa.


Ex-jihadi housewife jailed in Norway for joining IS

A Norwegian court on Tuesday sentenced a woman who lived as a housewife in Syria to prison for being a member of the Islamic State group (IS), despite not actively fighting herself.

Ex-jihadi housewife jailed in Norway for joining IS
The Kurdish-run al-Hol camp which holds suspected relatives of Islamic State fighters.Photo: Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

The Oslo court sentenced the Norwegian-Pakistani woman to three and a half years in prison for “participating in a terrorist organisation” by taking care of her household and enabling her three husbands to fight.

“By travelling to an area controlled by IS in Syria… by moving in and living with her husbands, taking care of the children and various tasks at home, the defendant enabled her three husbands to actively participate in IS fighting,” judge Ingmar Nilsen said as he read out the verdict.

Being a housewife to three successive husbands did not render her a passive bystander, the judge said.

“On the contrary, she was a supporter who enabled the jihad, looked after her three husbands at home and raised the new generation of IS recruits,” he said.

The young woman, who admitted having “radical ideas” at the time, left for Syria in early 2013 to join an Islamist fighter, Bastian Vasquez, who was fighting the regime.

Although she did not take up arms herself, she was accused of having allowed her husbands to go fight while taking care of her two children and household chores.

The trial was the first prosecution in Norway of someone who had returned after joining IS.

“This is a special case,” prosecutor Geir Evanger acknowledged during the trial.

“This is the first time that, to put it bluntly, someone has been charged for being a wife and mother.”

The prosecution had called for a four-year sentence, while the defence had called for her acquittal and immediately appealed Tuesday’s verdict.

The woman’s lawyer, Nils Christian Nordhus, argued that his client had quickly wanted to leave Syria after being subjected to domestic violence.

She had also been a victim of human trafficking because she had been held against her will, he added.

But the judge stressed that she had participated in the organisation “knowingly” and of her own will.

The woman was repatriated to Norway in early 2020 on humanitarian grounds with her two children, including a young boy described as seriously ill.

At least four other Norwegian women and their children are being held in Kurdish-controlled camps in Syria.