Yasmin from Gothenburg took their two children and joined ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.). After her three year old son died in a bomb blast, she played, she ran away. But in Sweden, her life was destroyed. In April, yasmin was found dead: allegedly, she committed suicide. Journalist Magnus Sandelin met yasmin. Now he tells her story.
One evening in January last year, I and photographer Anders Deros (Anders Deros) called at an apartment door in the North-East of Gothenburg. After a moment, we discovered yasmin, a 26-year-old woman with dark shoulder-length hair, dressed in dark clothing.
We met a few weeks ago in connection with the case in Gothenburg court, before which her brother Hassan on charges of terrorism. Yasmin with her sister and brother once went into a terrorist organization. The three of them returned to Gothenburg.
Yasmin was home for two months.
Now she didn’t recognise us. The clock 16:20. We woke her up. After all, she let us in, apologizing: “I’m taking antidepressants and sleeping poorly”.
We settled on the couch in the living room, poorly furnished apartment on the ground floor. Four-year-old daughter yasmin was sitting on the bed in the other room and watched a movie. After some time she came to us in the living room. Yasmin showed us the wounds on the girls legs, derived from fragments of a bomb in Syria — the one that killed her younger brother.
We wanted to take yasmin’s interview about that time that she and the children spent the ISIS, and of her escape. But she said she wouldn’t dare. She left the “Caliphate”. According to the rules of ISIS, now she is a deserter and traitor. In göteborg is full of people sympathetic to the terrorist sect, and they can take revenge.
Therefore she did not want to give an official interview.
Then she began to tell. That evening we stayed with her for more than two hours. Then we left, leaving yasmin with her daughter in the apartment. The meeting evoked an unpleasant feeling.
This house was not happy.
15 months after our meeting, on 13 April this year, yasmin was found dead in his own bed. Social service suspects suicide in connection with the information provided in the statement of one of its employees.
From this information it follows that yasmin in 2015 sought help from social services in Angered. Then she just got back home from ISIS in Syria. She was “hard to accept support and to implement the plan” in the company of ISIS and during a subsequent flight she had been through an awful lot. Social services knew that Yasmine was previously great difficulties in life.
According to the statement, the municipality failed in its responsibility for yasmin.
Yasmin told us that he went to Syria, before ISIL in 2014 was declared a “Caliphate” in parts of Syria and Iraq. “It was before they became so strict,” she said.
Her brother Hassan is back home in Gothenburg, he fought the jihadist group in Syria and was wounded in the head. And her sister, two years older, also went to ISIS and were still there when we met yasmin in Angered in 2016.
According to yasmin, she left, because she wanted to live in a Muslim country and to help the civilian population.
“I sat at home and seen on television how people are suffering. I wanted to go down there to help, I thought I would be able to buy in Syria the house where could live orphans”.
She alone went to Raqqa with two young children. There she lived in the apartment together with seventeen-year-old Syrian girl. Entered into marriage with a man more from formal considerations. Later that man died fighting for ISIS.
The Caliphate was not the way it is envisioned yasmin.
“As a woman you do not have the right to do. If you’re not married, you are treated like a dog. And if I married, all of you decides to make her husband”, she said.
At the same time Yasmine spoke well of the Taliban, which is seen when a previously visited Afghanistan. To understand the logic of her reasoning was not too easy.
Yasmin said quickly. Sometimes she showed a tough stance, used rude language: “the Women are not allowed, they just sit at home and fuck”.
She spoke about the weapon that is usually worn in raqqa. One day she threatened the taxi driver with a gun because he initially didn’t want to carry the woman without an escort. Then she got her wish.
Her story reveals a terrible reality in raqqa. According to her, parents who wanted to educate their children as future soldiers of ISIS, used to take them with you to public execution. On a special square of the city the butchers of ISIS beheaded sentenced to death. And children rejoiced, said yasmin. She and her kids never went there.
“I wanted to protect them from this. Once, when we were walking around town, I saw that the sidewalk is already long dead man. We turned back”.
She’s not stuck in raqqa and wanted back home. Tried to escape from the “Caliphate”, but she was caught and put in jail. Eventually she was able to defend himself, claiming that she was possessed by the devil.
She was afraid that the drones, fire the city, kill her children. But it was not so.
September 18, 2015 Yasmine and her two small children were in the apartment. The children were playing in one room, and Yasmine were in the other. There was a strong explosion. Daughter started screaming. Three-year-old brother of the girls were playing with a box with buttons. In the box was an explosive device. Yasmin son died and daughter was wounded by shrapnel.
“I hate ISIS” — passionately told us Yasmine, when we sat on her couch and listened to the story.
She told me how she was planning to join the Kurds, who fought against ISIS: they with a small daughter had to blow himself up in a crowd of ISIS supporters, “we had to die together.”
But she changed her mind.
About the accident with her son I mean the time when yasmin told me about it, already knew. Newspaper Aftonbladet wrote about this a couple of weeks later after the disaster: a three-year Swedish boy was killed in ISIL-controlled territory, playing with the explosive device. Yasmin approved article. On the website it was accompanied by a photograph c it Facebook. Her dressed in camouflage son slept next to a Kalashnikov. The boy’s face retouch, and it was impossible to know.
Yasmin called me and screamed into the phone, threatening to contact the ISIS, if we don’t get a picture. It was just a joke, she said. Executive editor decided to remove the photo.
Just a few days later, late in the evening, she called again, this time not angry, but desperate. Social services took her daughter, soon five. Yasmin said that her apartment was visited by armed police.
Yasmin couldn’t understand why they took her daughter. From the statement of the social worker followed that in the spring of 2016, after she lost her daughter, yasmin felt worse and worse. Social services received several statements which expressed concern about her condition.
Case yasmin was dealt with in four different offices of district administration Angered. Many knew that yasmin feels bad.
Sometimes she met with her small daughter in the presence of staff from social services, but when Yasmine started therapy, the meetings between mother and daughter had to stop. Yasmin stopped paying for the account, and in the end the apartment turned off the electricity.
From the statement: “She repeatedly say that life has no meaning”.
Big brother yasmin Hassan was a successful boxer, he played for the youth national team of Sweden. In Gothenburg he had his own firm for the laying of flooring. He became more religious and lectures for youth in the mosque.
In November 2015, Hassan was convicted of the Gothenburg court for terrorist crimes committed in Syria. The verdict was passed and another young man from Gothenburg. Four of geteborga the police suspected of complicity. Most likely, they are now dead.
Hassan and the second convict was present at the execution of two men through the cutting head in an industrial area in the suburbs of Aleppo. In 2013, when it was committed these murders, two geteborga, probably, was part of a jihadist group which would later become part of the “Islamic state”.
The long process of murder was filmed on video. The record showed the audience hall of the court, and she made a strong impression. One prisoner was forced to watch as the other executed. Apparently, Hassan was the leading role, he was involved in the planning of the event: the place for the first murder, gave a speech about why these two should be put to death, gave orders to the executioner with the knife.
Among the materials of the preliminary investigation is the video, shot on a mobile phone where Hassan in Syria cut off the head of a live chicken, and then tells his wife that it all takes off: “Just, you know, to kill a man is much more interesting, so it cut the kafir (infidel). Because he squeals like a pig, because he is a kafir. (…) To do this with a kafir — is another pleasure, in any case.”
That Hassan, whom we saw in the courtroom, huddled, sitting in a wheelchair and mostly stared straight ahead without expression. Six months after the murders, he was wounded in the head, and now he suffered from brain damage, followed by aphasia and severe memory disorders. According to his lawyer, he did not know for what crime he was convicted.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment for a terrorist crime of murder.
Dad Ahmed for many years divorced from the mother of yasmin and Hassan. He invites us to imagine and puts on the table rolls and biscuits. This sixty-year old man of small stature, with muscular arms, shoulders and neck, living in a small town and works as a truck driver. He had seven children. Three of them were Sunnis and had gone to Syria to join the terrorist organization.
He says it’s no longer his children.
“I had been warned. If they go to Syria to fight, they’re not my children!”
The family of Yasmine and Hassan — Kurdish Shiites from Iraq, one of those groups that “Islamic state” pursues and kills. Ahmed served in the army of Saddam Hussein, participated in the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s. he Then spent some time in jail and when I got out, learned that he was going to kill. In 1991, the family fled to Sweden.
“I was born a Muslim, but I’m a believer. I told my family about politics and religion at home we don’t talk,” he told Ahmed.
He describes the son of Hassan as a lovely person with a bunch of buddies, which is popular among girls. The son went to training in Boxing and participated in competitions at the highest level. About 15 years ago, he, according to his father, became a believing Sunni, and changed clothing style.
“I sometimes laughed at his religious beliefs, and then he was mad at me. If you read about the prophet Muhammad, I see that he did many bad things, it is not surprising that DAESH (“Islamic state”) also makes them. I hate this war.”
According to Ahmed, this is Hassan persuaded the two younger sisters to go to Sunnism. At the age of 12, Yasmine began to wear the veil, and 14 fully — covering niqab. At age 18 she married, refused to communicate with all my old friends and got new, religious.
“At first, I was very glad that she roamed the streets, did not drink and did not participate in the partying, but I didn’t realize that religion for it to go this far,” said Ahmed.
Hassan went to Syria in the fall of 2012. Before father had once forced him to return home from jihadist to Iraq in 2006, threatening revenge by the relatives remaining in the South. But when the son was in Syria, Ahmed was nothing I could do about it.
“He said he was going to Mecca. When he said on the phone that he is in Syria, I said that he is no longer my son. He replied that he does not care”.
One of the daughters of Ahmed, who also appealed to the Sunni, said he wanted to visit Hassan in Syria. Ahmed gave her money for a ticket.
“I warned that she did not go there to get married, but she still did just that, married a man from the “Islamic state”. I told her that she’s not my daughter anymore”.
According to Ahmed, it is important for him to protect his family in Iraq, he learned to be a “lion”. In Angered near Gothenburg, in his stories, he once drove a group of 18 people, armed with a baseball bat. They tried to get his daughter to sell drugs. During the scuffle, Ahmed received a gunshot wound in the leg.
Another time, when he came of yasmin, he went up to the neighbor from the second floor who talked bad about her. According to him, he pulled the neighbor to the balcony and threw it down on the lawn. The neighbor survived.
When Hassan and one of his sisters went to Syria, Ahmed once visited the apartment yasmin in Gothenburg. He then expressly forbade her to go to Syria, as did the brother and sister.
“She said she is not going to do this, but a few days later I received an SMS in which she said that too, let’s go,” says Ahmed.
According to him, the reason for leaving yasmin in the LIH was religion. Besides, she probably wanted to get away from her husband in Sweden, who treated her badly.
“She was afraid that I was going to force her to return to him,” says Ahmed.
According to him, he never intends to communicate with his injured son Hassan, who is now in jail for terrorism.
When her daughter tried to get in contact with Ahmed from Syria or having already returned to Sweden, he refused.
“Yasmin called me a few times when back home in Gothenburg. She was upset that social services took her children. The last time I was very angry at her for something she wrote on Facebook and said that she never called me again”.
One April night he called and said that yasmin was dead.
When I ask him about it, he shuts up and leaves the kitchen. When he returned, says that no one knows how she died, but he was told that she was found lying in bed with a smile on her face.
“I don’t know why, and don’t want to know. I just know that she is dead,” says Ahmed.
Sodal Maria (Maria Sjödahl), the head of the Department of individual and family care in Angered, I read an alert about the death of yasmin. Before you speak on this subject, she wanted to wait until the investigation is complete.
“What happened, really. This woman has something wrong. But I can’t tell whether to blame the incident a misunderstanding or something else, which she did not receive the necessary assistance. I see that with the case connected to four branches of the district administration, and to investigate whether the lack of interaction between them. If Yes, then we need to find a new way of working”.
I was also associated with the second sister who went to the “Islamic state”. She refused to give an interview.
Note: Yasmine and Ahmed fictitious names.