Turkey acquits ISIS emir’s wife in bombing trial as group does not accept women
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: turkey;
A Turkish court has acquitted the wife of an Islamic State group emir on charges of involvement in a 2016 bombing of a wedding, which killed 57 people.
Fadile Cebael left court a free woman after it was argued that “[IS] does not accept women as group members”.
Seven other people involved in the attack were sentenced to 57 aggravated life sentences and 1,582 years in prison each by the Kayseri Heavy Penalty Court.
One suspect was convicted to 227 years in prison on four aggravated life sentences, and another two suspects were sentenced to nine to 34 years in prison, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Another two suspects were acquitted, along the Gaziantep emir’s wife.
The devastating suicide bomb attack took place during a wedding party in the southeastern city of Gaziantep on 20 August 2016.
The celebrating family had fled from the Kurdish-majority town of Siirt due to conflict between the Turkish military and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the area.
Out of the 57 people killed in the bombing, 34 were children.
IS never claimed the attack, as was the case with several deadly attacks suspected to have been committed by the extremist group in Turkey over the past few years.
An unidentified Syrian national, considered to be the bomber, arrived in Turkey and stayed at the house of IS’ Gaziantep emir, Mehmet Kadir Cabael, until the night of the attack, according to the court.
The fingerprints of Cebael’s wife, Fadile, were found on a bag which contained materials used to make the bomb.
Cabael himself was later killed in a police operation in October 2016.
Fadile Cebael described herself as an ordinary housewife in her defence.
“My husband brought some needs of the house. And, I, like every housewife, would put the materials in the fridge and put away the emptied bags to someplace else. This is why my fingerprints would have been imprinted (on the bag),” she said.
The presence of her fingerprints on the bags was because of the “nature of her daily life”, not her involvement in the attack, the court ruled.
While Fedile Cebeal had been in contact with other suspects in the case, she could not be proven to have been a party to IS activities, according to the court, because of her gender.
“Taking into account that IS does not accept women as group members – on the contrary, it sees them as goods, the only job of women is housekeeping, raising children and serving their husbands – a personal conviction has not arisen in our court that the suspect committed the offense charged, and therefore, she has been acquitted,” the court ruled.
Local media did not specify whether the court had considered the various roles taken on by female IS members under the extremist group’s so-called “caliphate”, which included recruiting other women and being armed members of the IS “morality police”.