Islamic State fighters. Photo: AP Photo/militant website.
Islamic State fighters. Photo: AP Photo/militant website.

Austrian prosecutor wants Sweden to take over investigation

A prosecutor in Austria wants Sweden to issue a European arrest warrant in order to bring back the 17-year-old girl suspected of attempting to join the IS in Syria.

Since the girl is not suspected of any crime in Austria, no investigation will be carried out there, according to the Austrian prosecutor Christina Ratz. She tells the news agency TT that she has asked the court to keep the 17-year-old in custody and demand an arrest warrant from Sweden.

The court will decide either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Police in Vienna have told Swedish Radio News that the girl has told them that she was only on her way to Vienna to meet friends. But information from the authorities in Sweden, her parents and other people close to her cause the police to suspect that she was on her way to Syria to join the terror organisation IS, a spokesperson told Swedish Radio.

Details of the evidence for her links to the organisation are however not revealed.

It was the parents of the girl who last week contacted social services in Linköping and then police, and said they were worried she was on her way to Syria. Via mobile phone tracking she was located in Austria, and was arrested at the railway station in Vienna on Saturday evening.
The girl's mother is now in Vienna and has joined her daughter there.

Fredrik Kliman, press spokesperson at the regional police authority in eastern Sweden, told TT that when it emerged that the girl was suspected of travelling to Syria to join IS, they handed the case to the national operative police department and the intelligence and security police Säpo. But the case has now been returned to the regional police authorities, which does not have any details on how and when they may be able to return the girl to Sweden. It is unclear if the girl is suspected of any crime in Sweden, as it is not a crime here to travel to Syria or to be about to join the IS.

Meanwhile, the social services in Linköping have decided that the girl shall be taken into care under the Care of Young Persons Act as soon as she is back in the country.


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