Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main

Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/Main sentences Fatiha B. for membership in terrorist organizations

Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/Main sentences Fatiha B. for membership in two foreign terrorist organizations (Jabhat al-Nusra and "IS") and for breach of duty of care and education to a suspended total term of imprisonment of two years.

Lesedauer:4 Minuten

No. 17/2023

The 8th Senate for Criminal Matters (State Security Senate [Staatsschutzsenat]) of the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Frankfurt/Main today sentenced 30-year-old Fatiha B. to a total term of imprisonment of two years for membership in two foreign terrorist organizations (Jabhat al-Nusra and "IS") and for breach of duty of care and education. The sentence was suspended on condition of probation.

In essence, the Senate found the following:

In 2013, the defendant was part of the Salafist scene in the Rhine-Main area. Together with her husband, who also held a radical interpretation of Islam, she left for Syria via Turkey in September 2013. There, she joined the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra as a member and took care of the joint household, the distribution of aid to members of Jabhat al-Nusra and their daughter, who was born in February 2014. This enabled her husband to become a fighter for the terrorist organization.

In summer 2014, the married couple left Syria together with their daughter. They sojourned in Turkey in order to return to Germany. This failed, however, as they were unable to obtain the necessary documents for their child born in Syria. In November 2014, the couple re-entered Syria into the territory held by the so-called Islamic State (“IS”) and affiliated themselves as members to this terrorist organization. After military training, the defendant’s husband joined "IS" as a fighter and worked in its financial administration. The defendant followed her husband to his respective places of operation and enabled his activities for "IS" by managing the household. The couple received monthly cash payments from "IS" in the amount of $135 as alimentation for themselves and their daughter.

Because of her previous stay in Syria, the defendant was aware when she left for the "IS" area that she was putting her then nine-month-old daughter in great danger by bringing her back to a civil war zone. Growing up under the inhuman and arbitrary rule of "IS" constituted considerable dangers for the child and a permanent psychological impairment. A gunshot wound to the daughter, however, could not be established to the conviction of the Senate.

The Senate found that by the behavior described above, the defendant was guilty of of membership in a terrorist organization in three cases, in one case in combination with the violation of the duty of care and education.

After the defendant was arrested by Kurdish People’s Defense Units in February 2019, she was held in Kurdish detention centers until March 2022 together with her daughter and her subsequently born three other children. After her return to Germany, she was arrested upon arrival at Frankfurt Airport on March 31, 2022, and held in pre-trial detention since then until January 31, 2023. By order of the finding Senate dated Jan. 31, 2023, she was spared further execution of detention effective Feb. 1, 2023. The arrest warrant was lifted with today's decision.

In the context of sentencing, the Senate considered, among other factors in favor of the defendant, in particular her long-term imprisonment in the Kurdish detention centers as a single mother with four children and her expressed dissociation from any Islamic organizations. The Attorney General Office (Generalstaatsanwaltschaft) may appeal against the judgment to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The defendant and her defense lawyers have waived the right to appeal.

Higher Regional Court Frankfurt/Main, judgment of March 24, 2023, 8-2 OJs 6/22 - 1/22
English version: dep. press spokeswoman Dr. Kerstin Wierse

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