Tatiana Wielandt and Bouchra Abouallal, both 26, are among the dozens of so-called ISIS brides who are seeking to return to the countries they left to join the so-called caliphate.
The women were part of the radical Islamist terror group, which has claimed responsibility for beheadings, rapes, and murder across the world, before landing in refugee camps following the successful campaign against ISIS spearheaded by the United States.
Now, many are saying they no longer believe in the caliphate and want to return to the countries they left to join the terror group.
Wielandt and Abouallal, who are sisters-in-law, won a court order in 2018 from a judge in Belgium, who ordered officials to allow the women to return to the country, along with the children they had with jihadists. But the state declined to do so while fighting the case and won an appeal in February.
In the first interview since they lost their case for return, the allegedly former terror supporters claimed that they turned against ISIS when they saw militants brutally murder people.
Unlike other women embroiled in potential repatriation cases, the pair left ISIS in late 2017 after the jihadists lost their base in Raqqa, Syria. They said they were imprisoned for two months before being sent to a refugee camp.
Wielandt originally converted to Islam to marry Abouallal’s brother when they were still teenagers. The pair left with their husbands for Syria, each with a baby, soon after.
Both their husbands died within a year while fighting for the terror group, and in 2014 both women, each pregnant with a second child, returned to Belgium.
But the women fled the country again just a few months later to return to Syria. Abouallal, in a new interview—the first since Belgium won the right to refuse them re-entry for a second time—tried to blame the country’s police for questioning them when they returned and Europeans for blaming them for ISIS attacks in Europe.
“I was thinking I’m going to live my whole life like this,” she said. “And we still had a little bit this ideology.”
The women went back to ISIS and married two more ISIS terrorists. Wielandt married a Dutch fighter who was later killed in battle while Abouallal married a fighter from Trinidad who surrendered with the women in 2017.
The women acknowledge they made mistakes but think they and their families should be allowed to re-enter Belgium.
“I don’t even fight this. I made a mistake and I need to get punished for it,” Abouallal said.
“If I ever go back to Belgium, I hope they give me an injection or whatever to forget this whole part of our lives.”
“I understand people are afraid … They are judging us but they don’t know us,” she added.
Wielandt said that she’d be open to sending her children to Belgium without her if that was an option.
“These children can’t live. They have no education. They have nothing,” she said. The grandmother of Abouallal’s six children has tried bringing them into Belgium for over a year.
Belgium said it will stick by a 2017 decision to allow back all children under 10 years old from Iraq and Syria, but it is no longer under pressure from its judiciary to act in the case of these six specific children.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From NTD News