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    Two jihadist widows awaiting extradition to Belgium

    Credit: Belga

    Two widows of IS jihadists were acquitted of terrorism charges by a Turkish court on the 11th of March. 

    Tatiana Wielandt (27) and Bouchra Abouallal (26) were immediately released, along with their children aged two and five. They are currently in a refugee camp awaiting extradition to Belgium, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad, and the Gazet van Antwerpen reported on Saturday. Their lawyer Walter Damen confirmed the story. 

    Wielandt and Abouallal left Belgium to join the Islamic State twice. They started living in a prison camp controlled by the Kurds in early 2017. They crossed the Turkish border and handed themselves into local authorities at the end of 2019. Four of their six children were sent to Belgium in January. 

    The two women and their two children now want to return to Belgium. But this could take some time due to the COVID-19 health crisis. They are both facing five years in a Belgian prison for belonging to a terrorist organisation. 

    “They know they will be isolated as soon as they get to Belgium and temporarily separated from their children,” Damen said. “They know they have made some big mistakes and have had all the chances in the world. They’re giving me the impression now they are only thinking about their children’s future.”

    Sarah Johansson

    The Brussels Times