Emilie König, a 33 year old Breton known as “the most wanted woman in France,” had been the target of American and international security forces for several years. She has been arrested in Syria by Kurdish forces and is currently being held at a refugee camp.
König was the first women to be added to the international terror list by the United States in October 2015 after having traveled to Syria in 2012. Since then she has encouraged her followers to commit violent acts on French soil, notably at public establishments and against female French soldiers. She appeared in several propaganda videos in which she appealed for jihad “as long as the enemy is around.” In 2013 she attempted to return to France to get her two children but finally left without them.
Since her arrest she has requested to be tried in France. “We can judge [prisoners] in Syria, or hand them over to French authorities if they so request. France’s wishes will be respected,” said Khaled Issa, France’s Kurdish representative.
König’s mother told Ouest-France that her daughter is “being held in a Kurdish camp and has been interrogated and tortured.” König converted to Islam after marrying her first husband, an Algerian man, who was arrested for drug trafficking. She learned Arabic, changed her name to Samra and started wearing a veil. She left for Syria to join her partner, who was later killed.
Her mother said she wanted to return to France and to seek “forgiveness of her family, her friends and her country.”
Following her arrest, the spokesperson for Les Républicains Lydia Guirous stated that female French jihadists should be “judged where they are found,” so that “no risk is taken with the French people’s security.”
“I am a feminist, I believe that men and women must absolutely be treated in the same fashion,” she told Sud Radio. “These women who joined up to go to fight in Syria or in Iraq against France, to betray France, to sign up to kill, know what they are doing.”
Former Secretary of State Frédéric Lefebvre echoed Guirous’s statement, and hoped “that France would not ask for [Emilie König’s] extradition and that she would be judged in Syria for her violent acts.”