An Austrian-born ISIS terrorist who travelled back home to be treated for a bullet wound and to get a holiday away from war before heading back to Syria has been captured.
The Austrian suspected terrorist, identified as 27-year-old Azad G., surrendered to Kurdish troops in Syria.
Azad G. told local media that he is sorry he joined ISIS and that he wants to return to Austria.
He said: “I hope everyone recognises that I am remorseful. I can only tell people to be careful and not be gullible.”
Azad G., who grew up in a Kurdish family belonging to the Alevi faith, converted to Sunni Islam in the Austrian capital Vienna and quickly became radicalised.
When his parents reported him to the Austrian intelligence services in 2013, he fled the country. After first travelling to Egypt he later migrated to Syria to join ISIS.
He was reportedly a foot soldier for the terrorist group, and after he was shot in a battle he managed to return to Austria in 2014 to seek treatment for his wound.
Despite being interrogated by intelligence officers, he was never formally charged due to a lack of evidence.
However, the same authorities failed to prevent Azad G. from returning to Syria in 2015 to take up the banner of jihad again.
In 2016, an international arrest warrant was finally issued against the suspected terrorist, but at the time the Austrian was already beyond the reach of the police.
Politicians now want the situation cleared up. MP Peter Pilz said: “Despite a criminal complaint made by his parents, he managed to travel to the Syrian civil war.”
Pilz said it was a clear “failure by authorities” to allow him to travel to Syria on two separate occasions.
According to local media, the authorities cannot revoke Azad G.’s Austrian passport as he does not have dual citizenship and treaties prevent them from making a person stateless.
The intelligence services estimate that around 100 Austrian ISIS fighters are still alive in Syria and Iraq.