Father "hugely relieved by daughter's escape from ISIS
Laura H.'s father is "hugely relieved" that his daughter and grandchildren managed to escape from terrorist organization Islamic State and is excited for their return to the Netherlands, he said to the Telegraaf on Wednesday. The 21-year-old Dutch woman and her two children, age 1 and 4 years, escaped from an ISIS controlled area in Mosul in northern Iraq with the help of Kurdish fighters.
Her father made contact with the fighters and asked for their help. Lara told TV station Kurdistan24 that her violent husband took the family to Turkey for holiday last September. While their he said they should take money to refugees in camps near the border.
Instead he took them to Raqqa in Syria, the capital of the terrorist group's self proclaimed caliphate. Laura's father does not know when she and her kids will be returning to the Netherlands, or what will happen when they do. He hasn't been able to talk to his daughter since her escape. Nor has he heard from the authorities how things will proceed.
He still can't believe how his daughter ended up in a caliphate. "It's a cult and it can happen to anyone", he said to the newspaper. One thing is certain, Laura will not simply be welcomed back to the Netherlands as a victim. She will at least be detained and questioned on suspicion of participation in a terrorist organization.
"The Public Prosecutor's policy when a foreign rebel fighter in the Syrian civil war returns is that the police arrest and question them", a spokesperson for the prosecutor said to the Telegraaf. "They are then asked about their time in the combat zone. I do not know any stories of people who could show with good justification that they were victims."
Before disappearing in September, Laura and her family lived in an apartment in Leidschendam for about a year. Her neighbors, at least, have doubts about her story, they said to broadcaster NOS. Especially given the fact that she disappeared without taking anything.
"Everything in the house was still there. The light was shining, there were pans on the stove, the baby clothes were still there." a neighbor said. "If you go to Turkey on holiday, you don't leave everything behind. Certainly not with a small child of four weeks. And taking money to the refugees? They themselves had not a cent."
The neighbors confirmed that Laura's husband is an aggressive man that regularly abused her. "And because we thought that he also abused her daughter, we called the police a few times." The police also arrested the man. "But he came back and was angry at us for calling the police."