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Swedish 'Isis' teen 'celebrated Paris attacks'

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Swedish 'Isis' teen 'celebrated Paris attacks'
An image of Isis militants posted online in August. Image: AP
12:05 CET+01:00
An Austrian criminal lawyer known for defending alleged jihadists has taken on the case of a 17-year-old Swedish girl who was arrested in Vienna on suspicion of planning to join Islamic State (Isis) militants.

She was arrested on December 5th at Vienna's Westbahnhof rail station, after her parents reported her missing from her home in Linköping in southern Sweden and told police that she had been radicalized after watching Isis videos. Detectives believe she was planning to travel from Vienna to Syria.

The girl's mother said that she had started dressing and behaving differently and her brother had found a mobile phone hidden under her pillow on which she had downloaded Isis propaganda videos and instructions on how to support jihadists.

She is reported to have sent text messages after the Paris terror attacks of November 13th, saying how “happy” she felt about them.  

Austrian police have said that she was planning to meet with three teenage girls in Vienna who all have a Muslim background.

Sweden has not requested that she be extradited as under Swedish law preparing for a trip to join the jihad in Syria is not a criminal offence, although it is in Austria. The 17-year-old Swedish girl knew this and posted a message via social media in which she said: "It's not a crime to go to Syria here, they can't do anything to me." However, she obviously hadn't anticipated being arrested in Austria.

Defence lawyer Wolfgang Blaschitz visited her in Vienna's Josefstadt prison on Friday and told the Kurier newspaper that “she doesn't understand the world any more. All she wanted to do was get away from her parents, and now she finds herself in prison.” He added that he intends to free her as soon as possible.

The girl had managed to travel to Austria without a passport, which she left at home, and he said it was therefore highly unlikely that she would have been able to travel to Syria.

He said she had changed her plans as she travelled to Vienna, and intended to return to Sweden. “She had 2,000 Swedish krona (€217) in her pocket, she was hardly going to conquer the world."

The teenager is considered to be a flight risk and will be held over Christmas in pre-trial custody until at least December 28th.

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