A young woman who ran away from home at the age of 15 and married an Islamic State terrorist in Syria, with whom she allegedly kept a Yazidi woman as a slave, is set to go on trial on charges of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.
The defendant Leonora Messing, 22, was just 15 years old when she ran away from home in Sangerhausen, which is a town in the central German state of Saxony-Anhalt, to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in war-torn Syria.
Messing, whose trial begins in the city of Halle next Tuesday (25th January), became the third wife of ISIS secret service agent Martin L., 30, and had two children with him, who have not been named.
Messing returned to Germany in December 2020 and now faces charges of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, among other charges that include being a member of a terrorist organisation, human trafficking and violation of the Weapons Act.
Messing was arrested immediately after she landed at Frankfurt Airport on her return home, after the federal government brought her and her two children back from a prison camp in northern Syria in December 2020.
She was also accompanied by other German women who had joined ISIS and were being held in Kurdish prison camps in northern Syria with their children.
According to the indictment, Messing and her husband temporarily kept a Yazidi woman as a slave after they bought her for an alleged GBP 647, and sold her together with her two children in 2015.
Messing is also accused of working for the ISIS secret service after she agreed to spy on other jihadi fighters’ wives and received monthly payments for her activities.
In addition, the defendant allegedly owned a semi-automatic self-loading Glock pistol, which was reportedly given to her by ISIS members.
The trial is set to last 22 days.
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