More details have been emerging about the young Dutch woman shown on Kurdish television claiming she had escaped from the hands of IS in Syria with the help of Kurdish forces.
The woman, named as Laura Angela Hansen, was interviewed on Kurdish television station Kurdistan24 about her story. Hansen, who lived in Leidschendam, said she and her two children had been taken to Syria by her partner a year ago on the pretext of a holiday in Turkey.
In the interview, she said she had grown up in Sweet Water City – Zoetermeer – and had met her husband via an online dating site for Muslims. From an ordinary Dutch family, she converted to Islam at 17, broadcaster NOS said.
Her mother Jennifer told NOS: ‘She just vanished a year ago… I thought her husband had done something to her, he was so aggressive. Eventually we went into her home and found everything as she had left it… even the unpacked presents for my new grandson.’
Jennifer says she believes her daughter had been brainwashed by her husband, who is described as a German national of Palestinian origin. ‘Laura is a lovely girl but she is easily influenced,’ she said. ‘She’s made a mistake but she would not hurt a fly.’
According to Laura’s mother, the young woman’s father may have had a role in helping her escape. ‘I do not want to know the details,’ she said. Laura herself told Kurdistan24 that her father had somehow gotten Kurdish peshmerga fighters to free her from where she was being kept in Mosul.
The Dutch foreign ministry has confirmed that a Dutch woman has reported to the Dutch embassy in Iraq asking for help but gave no further details.
According to NOS, Laura is currently being held in Iraqi Kurdistan and officials are in touch with the Dutch authorities about her safe return home.
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