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Two Austrian schoolgirls stopped en route to Syria

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Two Austrian schoolgirls stopped en route to Syria
File photo showing Islamic Jihad members in the Gaza Strip. Photo: APA/EPA/ALI ALI
15:00 CEST+02:00
Austria's Interior Ministry has confirmed that two teenage girls from Vienna have been stopped as they attempted to leave the country to travel to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis) jihadists.

A third girl was planning to join the 14 and 16-year-old in Graz but her mother became suspicious of the large amount of luggage she was taking and stopped her from leaving. She called police on Saturday, who then tracked down the two friends.

It’s believed that the two Viennese girls were born in Austria. The 16-year-old’s parents are Iraqi but have lived in Austria for 20 years. The 14-year-old girl is believed to come from a foster home. It’s unclear how the girls became radicalised.

According to a report in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper they told police they planned to go to Syria or Iraq as they didn’t like Austria.

As many as 130 people from Austria are believed to be fighting as jihadists abroad. More than half of Austrian's jihadists originally come from the Caucasus region and have a valid residence permit in Austria.

In unrelated news, two Salafists were intercepted in a German border town, on the way to Syria via Austria.

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