OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Two Spanish women and their 12 children have been repatriated from Syria, where they had allegedly moved to join the ISIS in 2014, according to the Spanish daily El Pais.
Government sources told the Spanish media that the families landed in the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase outside Madrid late Monday night.
According to La Vanguardia newspaper, the two women – Yolanda Martinez and Luna Fernandez – were detained upon arrival and could face charges of collaborating with a “terrorist” organization.
The women, however, argued that their husbands had tricked them into going to Syria and insisted that they did not fight or participate in any “terrorist” activities.
The two families had been staying in the Roj refugee camp in northeast Syria.
Spain has agreed to take a total of four women and 16 children from Syria with links to the ISIS. But, according to El Pais, the Spanish government has been unable to locate the other two families.
Three of the women had been requesting repatriation since 2019.
Police sources told La Vanguardia that the two women now in Spain are registered as “dangerous” in the files of the Spanish state.
In 2018, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation estimated that around 1,000 women from Europe had joined the ISIS.
In July, the Spanish think tank Real El Cano estimated that 154 European women were still in Syrian refugee camps.