A verdict in the case of a member of the Islamic State (ISIS) who was charged with the murder of a 5 year old Yazidi child, who he had enslaved along with her mother has become an internationally reported story.
The case and the verdict has received special attention from global media outlets as Taha al-Jumailly becomes the first ISIS member to be convicted of genocide in Europe. Amal Clooney, the famous human rights barrister, was part of the legal team representing the girl’s mother.
One month ago Taha al-Jumailly’s wife Jennifer Wenisch, his accomplice in the enslavement of the Yazidi mother and her daughter and in the murder of the 5 year old, had been sentenced by a Munich court to 10 years in prison for ‘aiding’ her husband in the offences.
The couple had allegedly ‘purchased’ the mother, Nora T., and her daughter as slaves while living in then ISIS-occupied Mosul, Iraq, in 2015. In January 2016, Jennifer Wenisch visited the German embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara to apply for new identity papers, and as she left the mission she was arrested and extradited days later to Germany.
Wenisch walked freely in Germany for two and a half years and had been taken into custody only after she’d walked into a trap set up by the FBI. According to police sources, she wished to get back to ISIS after her return to Germany. Thinking she was chatting over the internet to a fellow ISIS supporter in 2018, she began admitting that she was a member of the ISIS’ ‘morality police’ and boasted that she had ‘owned an enslaved’ Yazidi woman.
She agreed to meet the FBI informant she was chatting with and let him drive her across the country to depart Germany. She admitted to the informant also about the ‘slave’ girl’s murder and about how she had been recruited in mid-2015 to ISIS, all the time being recorded via a concealed microphone in the car. She was then arrested, and her trial began in 2019.
An estimated 10,000 Yazidis were killed in northern Iraq during ISIS’ attacks in the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar (Shengal) in 2014, as the peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi army units suddenly withdrew, leaving the civilians defenceless in the face of mass atrocities. About 7,000 Yazidi women and girls, some very young, were enslaved and forcibly transferred to locations in Iraq and eastern Syria. The massacre of Yazidis in the hands of ISIS has been recognised by the United Nations and many other states as ‘genocide.’