Norway sentences woman for supporting IS by being homemaker

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A 30-year-old Norwegian woman who was repatriated by Norway from a refugee camp in Syria because her son was sick was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison by an Oslo court for participating in the Islamic State group.

The case was a first in Norway. Oslo District Court Judge Ingemar Nestor Nilsen said the woman, who was not identified, “has participated in a terrorist organization, and that she did so knowingly and on purpose,” Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

The woman was not an IS fighter but as homemaker her role ”was highlighted as invaluable supporters who enabled jihad (and) provided a basis for the IS recruits to be highly motivated at the front,” Nilsen said. “They contributed to the arrival of new generations of IS recruits who could follow suit.”

The woman, who has appealed both the sentence and the verdict, was 22 years old when she travelled via Sweden to Syria, where she lived from 2013 to 2019.

She and her 5-year-old son ended up in the Al Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria. from where she was repatriated last year. She was arrested upon her return to Norway.

The camp houses refuges, families and supporters of the Islamic State group. The majority of al-Hol’s residents are Iraqis and Syrians, but it includes some 10,000 foreigners from 57 other countries. Many countries have been refusing to repatriate their citizens who joined IS after the extremists declared a caliphate in 2014, fearing their ties to terrorism.

The group was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in March 2019, the extremists lost their last sliver of land in eastern Syria. Al-Hol residents continue to languish in the camp.

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