Turkish court releases female ISIS suspect

A Turkish court has ordered the release pending trial of the wife of a Syrian Islamic State fighter, days after a prosecutor declared it was seeking a 15-year sentence on bomb-making charges, the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet reports.

Shortly after Syrian national Afra Shaar married her husband Faysal, who she acknowledges was an ISIS fighter, the pair moved to Diyarbakır, a city in southeast Turkey. They stayed there for over six months, before moving back to Syria, where Faysal died fighting for the extremist jihadist Islamic State, according to Afra’s statement.

Shaar then moved back to Turkey to live with Faysal’s parents. Turkish anti-terror police raided their home in December 2017, after an informant reported that Shaar was a potential suicide bomber.

“I am certainly not a suicide bomber,” said Shaar in her statement. “Because if I was, I would have gone to kill Assad’s soldiers. It was them who killed my husband.”

During the raid, police confiscated three mobile phones, two tablets, a laptop and a desktop computer, and two sim cards. The digital files discovered included sound files bearing the ISIS logo and numerous pictures showing Faysal and Afra posing with weapons.

Two of the photographs printed in Cumhuriyet show Afra posing with an AK-47 rifle, though her face is obscured by the niqab. Shaar claimed her husband left the gun with her for self defence.

Shaar was released on Sunday, after the court announced its decision stating that there was “no evidence” that she was a member of a terrorist organisation.