Life with Isis is 'really hard', discovers Swedish teen who joined jihadists

Marlin Nivarlain first left Sweden for Syria last year: "In Sweden we have everything, and when I was there, I did not have anything."
Marlin Nivarlain first left Sweden for Syria last year: "In Sweden we have everything, and when I was there, I did not have anything."

A Swedish teenager who was rescued from the clutches of the Islamic State by Kurdish militias in Iraq has spoken out about her time among the jihadists.

Marlin Stivani Nivarlain, a 16-year-old from the town of Boras, described her ordeal to a Kurdish television in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish regional government. Nivarlain said she had been duped by her boyfriend, who convinced her to accompany to join the extremist group.

She linked up with the 19-year-old in 2014.

"First it was good together, but then he started to look at ISIS videos and speak about them and stuff like that," she said in the interview with Kurdistan 24, using another name for the Islamic State.

"Then he said he wanted to go to Isis, and I said 'Okay, no problem,' because I did not know what ISIS meant or what Islam was - nothing."

According to her narrative of events, last May the couple left a foster home in Sweden and journeyed by train and bus to Turkey, where they then crossed over into Syria from the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. There, the jihadists eventually moved them to the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Not long thereafter, Nivarlain, who was apparently also pregnant, started to regret her decision.

"In Sweden we have everything, and when I was there, I did not have anything," she said in the interview.

"I did not have any money either. It was a really hard life. When I had a phone I started to contact my mum and I said: 'I want to go home'."

The circumstances of her rescue from a house outside of Mosul are not totally clear. Nor does the Kurdish report detail what happened to Nivarlain's newborn child. She is in the process of being repatriated to Sweden.

Her story is hardly unique. Numerous would-be jihadists and smitten girlfriends have traveled from Europe to the Islamic State's territories in Iraq and Syria only to discover that things weren't quite as they imagined.

- Washington Post

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