A teenage girl who left Italy to join the Islamic State (Isis) group told her parents she wishes to return home after realising she has made a mistake. Meriem Rehaily, a 19-year-old of Moroccan descent, ran away from her home in Arzergrande, a town near the north-eastern town of Padua, in July 2015.
She reportedly told her family she was heading to the seaside holiday to spend the summer with her friends and instead travelled to Turkey and crossed into Syria. Prior to her departure she posted messages supportive of IS (Daesh) on social media, while once in IS-controlled lands she claimed she was working in logistics and felt useful there.
Within six months of living in a war zone, however, she grew disillusioned with the Islamist group and reportedly pleaded to return in a phone call to her parents that was taped by police."I can't handle it any more, please help me", she said according to La Repubblica. "I'm sorry. I want to come home."
It was the last her family heard from her, according to the daily, and fears were growing for her safety. "The girl is in great danger first because she is in Syria, but also because quitting a terrorist group really means risking one's life," Kamel Layachi, an imam from Rehaily's Veneto region told Il Gazzettino newspaper.