A 19-year-old Russian woman who fled to Turkey in a bid to join the Islamic State terrorist organization has been detained while trying to cross into neighboring Syria, a news report said Friday.
Varvara Karaulova, a second-year student of philosophy at the prestigious Moscow State University, was stopped by Turkish border guards in the town of Kilis, the RIA Novosti news agency cited her father, Pavel Karaulov, as saying.
A source in the Russian Embassy in Ankara confirmed the detention, telling RIA Novosti that Karaulova would soon be handed over to migration authorities in Turkey and would eventually be deported to Russia.
Karaulova fled Moscow last Wednesday, and she was last seen at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. Friends recently revealed that she had begun wearing traditional Islamic clothing at the university, and her father told The Moscow Times on Tuesday that she had started learning Arabic in September.
Karaulov said he had not spoken to his daughter since her detention in Kilis, but that as far as he knew, she was in a "normal state," RIA Novosti reported Friday. He added that he had been told to wait for his daughter in Istanbul, where she would be brought in the next day or two.
"I'm still not sure how a person who has spent most of their life living in the United States and Western Europe could decide to do such a thing. I'm still in shock," Karaulov was cited as saying by RIA Novosti.