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Teenage Danish terror suspect: Isis was 'exciting'

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Teenage Danish terror suspect: Isis was 'exciting'
Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
09:42 CEST+02:00
The 17-year-old girl accused of planning terror attacks against two schools in Denmark said during her trial that she found terror organisation Islamic State (Isis) ‘exciting'.

During her 15-month stay in custody following her arrest in January 2016, the girl also wrote a long part-biography, part-fiction called “The Way to Jihad” (Vejen til Jihad), in which she allegedly explained the thoughts behind her actions and imagined herself as a fully-fledged jihadi planning the attacks, the court heard.

The 17-year-old Muslim convert – known as the Kundby girl after the western Zealand village where police found her in possession of bomb-making materials – is currently on trial at Holbæk Court.

She told the court Wednesday that her interest in Isis started because she found it “exciting”, reports news agency Ritzau.

The girl began to search for and contact persons and profiles on social media connected to Isis. Her own social media activity shows a drastic change in interests from boys and shopping to holy war in the space of just a few months, according to an article by newspaper Politiken.

She converted to Islam in October 2015 and is the first female in Denmark to face terror charges.

At one point, the Kundby girl also began to use the name of terrorist Omar Abdel Hamid al-Hussein, who killed two people in shooting attacks in Copenhagen in February 2015.

“I thought he was pretty cool. So I took his name… At one time I thought [the Copenhagen attack] was okay. But not for very long,” she told the court Thursday, according to Ritzau.

Both the news agency and Politiken report that the girl has justified her behaviour with wanting to be “exciting” and stand out from the crowd.

While in custody, she wrote to a boy in the institution where she was held that “Isis is a big part of my life right now, so it's hard to just forget it.”

“Would do almost anything for you, but dropping Islamic State is something I can't do right now,” she wrote in another note to the boy.

She told the court that she did not mean what she wrote, reports Ritzau.

Also while in custody, the girl wrote long texts – when given access to a computer – that were a combination of biography and fantasy, with herself in the central role. 

These texts are now being used as evidence by the prosecution.

The girl recorded a lot of her thoughts prior to and during her incarceration, including how she found ingredients for explosives and tried to make bombs, as well as fiction in which she describes herself as a near-heroic jihadi planning terrorist attacks in Denmark.

Some of the passages are factually correct, she admitted to the court, while pointing out others as “just fiction”.

“I spiced it up a little, to make it more exciting,” she said, according to Politiken's report.

The girl admits a separate charge for, in July last year, stabbing a male attendant at the custodial institution with a piece of glass.

She had discussed religion with the attendant the day prior to the stabbing and also wrote that she began to ask attendants in the institution whether they were Christian, reports Politiken.

“If the answer was yes or atheist, they became enemies of me,” she wrote.

The girl denies that she intended to actually carry out the planned attacks on her old school, Sydskolen in Fårevejle, western Zealand, and Carolineskolen, a Jewish private school in Copenhagen.

At the time of her arrest, police found a note with the words “bomb attack against the infidels 8th January”.

Several other notes were also found, including the words “jihad” and “Allahu akhbar” (sic.), reported Ritzau on Wednesday.

Whilst held in the Venstre Fængsel prison following her arrest, she wrote in a notebook the words “they think I have dropped my plan, but when I come out they can see what I said” and also wrote the words “Kundby girl was here” on her cell wall.

She maintains that her actions were motivated by wanting excitement and attention, telling defence lawyer Mette Grith Stage that it was “great that I was no longer just part of the background” following her arrest.

A verdict in the case is expected next month.

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