Nineteen-year-old Russian student Varvara Karaulova has been detained in Turkey after attempting to unlawfully cross the border into Syria. Media reports say she had been recruited by ISIS, with six countries on high alert and looking for her.
“Varvara Karaulova has been detained on Turkish territory by the country’s Interpol authorities.
The embassy has informed the parents of the student,” said Igor Mityakov, the Russian Embassy press attaché in Turkey, Tass news agency reported.
The student’s father confirmed her detention, and added that he “hasn’t spoken to her yet.” He said that, as far as he knows, her condition is satisfactory.
Karaulova was studying Arabic and Islam in the Moscow State University.
On May 27, instead of going to university, she flew to Istanbul, leaving a note for her parents. In the note, she just asked her mother to walk the dog, but her parents couldn’t get in touch with her, so the 19-year-old was declared missing.
Karaulova also changed her name in WhatsApp to “Amina” and wrote it in Arabic script.
Russian investigators suspect she was recruited by ISIS.
A lawyer for Karaulova’s family said that so far there is no confirmation that she has committed any crime.
The lawyer added that, in his opinion, Karaulova‘s case is not about freedom of religious worship, but about “the clear and systematic work of recruiters, who kidnapped a young woman from Russia under false pretenses.”