Europe

Dutch judge extends detention for 'Syria jihadist bride'

Monique on Dutch TV (screengrab)
Image caption Monique made a TV appeal for her daughter to return to the Netherlands two months ago.

A judge in the Netherlands has agreed to extend the period police can hold a Dutch teenager who travelled to Syria to marry an Islamist fighter.

The girl, known as "Aicha", appeared in court accused of joining a terrorist organisation.

Aicha, a recent convert to Islam, is believed to have travelled to the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa in Syria to marry a fighter there.

Her mother Monique helped return her to the Netherlands and is not a suspect.

The teenager is being held in solitary confinement, but is allowed some contact with her mother.

If convicted she faces up to 30 years in jail.

Aicha is one of a small number of European teenage girls and women who have gone to Syria and Iraq in recent months.

Some are believed to have travelled for ideological reasons, while others have reportedly married fighters, including those fighting with IS.

Media ban

The appearance on Friday was behind closed doors but a public hearing is expected in three months, court officials told the BBC.

Until then, Aicha is banned from speaking to members of her family, apart from her mother, as well as the media.

Dutch media report that Aicha left the Netherlands in February to marry Yilmaz, a Dutch-Turkish fighter who had once served in the Dutch military.

Image caption Yilmaz served in the Dutch army and says he uses his skills to train fellow fighters

He describes himself as a part-time aid worker, trainer and fighter, though it is not known exactly which group he fights with.

He told the BBC's Anna Holligan on Wednesday that he had married the Dutch teenager after another fighter she was due to marry was killed.

"It didn't work, we split. She went her way, I went my way," he said.

Aicha's mother then travelled to the Turkey-Syria border to rescue her and bring her back, against the advice of the Dutch government.

There are conflicting reports over whether Monique entered Syria or met her daughter at the Turkish border.

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Media captionAnna Holligan reports on Dutch jihadists in Syria

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