Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Would-Be Islamic State Militant May Return

Student Varvara Karaulova, 19.

A 19-year-old Russian woman who allegedly fled to Turkey in a bid to join the Islamic State terrorist organization was detained near the Turkish border and may be deported back to Russia early this week, state news agency Channel One reported Saturday.

Varvara Karaulova, a second-year philosophy student at the prestigious Moscow State University, was stopped by Turkish border guards in the town of Kilis, RIA Novosti cited her father, Pavel Karaulov, as saying Friday.

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 begun studying 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 was expected to arrive within the next few days.

The teen faces criminal charges in Russia if an investigation proves she had in fact intended to join an illegal armed group, Sputnik news agency reported, citing the Interior Ministry.

Meanwhile, Russia's Investigative Committee is currently probing the possibility that she was recruited by extremists, Channel One reported.

Read more