German IS bride given two-year suspended prison sentence

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By AFP  with Euronews
The woman was sentenced at the Higher Regional Court in Naumburg.
The woman was sentenced at the Higher Regional Court in Naumburg.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File

A 22-year-old German woman who left to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria has been sentenced.

Leonora Messing, a mother of two, was found guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation and given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

The regional high court in Naumburg heard that the woman had run away alone to join IS at the age of 15.

But judges did not find her guilty of complicity in crimes against humanity or genocide.

Prosecutors had claimed she helped her husband "buy" from the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority in Iraq to use as an IS slave, but the court said the facts had not been proven.

Messing had allegedly posted make-up tutorials online before converting to Islam. The teenager's father had only discovered his daughter's radicalisation after her disappearance, when he came across photos of her in a niqab.

"She was a good student," Maik Messing told local media in 2019.

"She used to go to a retirement home to read to the elderly. She took part in the carnival as a majorette. That was when a lot of the people we know saw her for the last time."

The woman was eventually detained in a Kurdish-controlled camp in northern Syria and repatriated to Germany in 2020.

She claims that her husband -- Martin Lemke -- had been captured in 2019 by the Syrian Democratic Forces.