Émilie König is a citizen of France, who converted to Islam, and who is alleged to have served as recruiter, once she went to live in the Islamic State, an break-away region of Iraq and Syria, where Sunni fundamentalists attempted to form a country that very strictly complied with a fundamentalist interpretation of Koranic law. According to the New York Times she is one of just two women who the United Nations has asked member nations to freeze their financial assets due to suspected ties to terrorism.
Ben McPartland, writing in The Local, reported that König dropped out of school at fifteen. He quoted Agnes de Feo, a sociologist and documentary filmmaker, who made a film about her, who described her as an angry person.
Her father was a policeman. The New York Times reports she converted to Islam, as a teenager, and started wearing a black abaya and face covering. The Guardian reports she converted after marrying an Algerian.
The New York Times reported König traveled to Syria later in 2012. The Guardian reports she didn't travel to Syria until 2014, to join a new lover, and bore three more children there. Her second husband was killed, in
She left her first two children in France. According to the New York Times, after she arrived in occupied Syria she eventually became a "a prominent propagandist and recruiter for the Islamic State."
In late 2017, after years of fighting, Raqqa, the breakaway region's fell to militia's from Kurdistan. König, and many other followers fell into Kurdish custody. She apologized to her family, and to France, and pleaded to be repatriated. On January 11, 2018 the New York Times profiled her, and described the difficult choices her plea for repatriation posed for policy makers in France.
The Guardian quotes König's mother, who said she has been tortured while in Kurdish custory.
- Alissa J. Rubin (2018-01-11). "She Left France to Fight in Syria. Now She Wants to Return. But Can She?". New York Times (Paris, France). https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/world/europe/emilie-konig-france-islamic-state.html. Retrieved 2018-01-11. "A woman who left France and became a prominent propagandist and recruiter for the Islamic State has asked her family, friends and country for a pardon."
- Rex Tillerson. "Individuals and Entities Designated by the State Department Under E.O. 13224". United States Department of State. https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/143210.htm. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
- Ben McPartland (2018-01-09). "The story of Emilie König: How a French nightclub barmaid became a notorious Isis recruiter". The Local (France). https://www.thelocal.fr/20180109/how-a-french-nightclub-barmaid-became-a-notorious-isis-recruiter. Retrieved 2018-01-11. "Since news of her arrest emerged earlier this month the country has been asking how the 33-year-old former nightclub barmaid from the town of Lorient in Brittany ended up featuring on UN and US blacklists of dangerous Isis jihadists?"
- "French woman accused of recruiting for Isis 'captured by Kurdish forces'". The Guardian. 2018-01-02. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/02/french-woman-accused-of-recruiting-for-isis-captured-by-kurdish-forces. Retrieved 2018-01-11. "The 33-year-old daughter of a gendarme is “being held in a Kurdish camp and has been interrogated and tortured,” her mother told Ouest-France newspaper."
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