Moscow student charged with attempting to join ISIS withdraws confession
MOSCOW, February 8 (RAPSI) – Varvara Karaulova (Alexandra Ivanova), a student of the Moscow State University who stands charged with attempting to join the Islamic State militants in Syria, has withdrawn her confessional testimony, her lawyer Gadzhi Aliyev told RAPSI on Monday.
According to the lawyer, Karaulova pleaded not guilty during re-examination and said that she had no thought of joining the Islamic State.
As previously reported the second-year student of the Moscow State University’s Faculty of Philosophy, allegedly decided to join the Islamic State and secretly started off for Istanbul on May 27.
On June 4, she was arrested near Turkey's border with Syria along with 13 other Russian citizens when attempting to cross into the territory occupied by Islamic State militants. On June 11, she returned to Russia under escort of Interpol employees.
In October, Karaulova, who had changed her name to Alexandra Ivanova, was again arrested in Moscow and put in jail.
Her detention recently was extended until March 27.
If convicted, Karaulova faces up to ten years in prison.
The Islamic State is currently one of the major threats to global security. Over three years, these terrorists have managed to seize large areas of Iraq and Syria. The organization is also attempting to spread its influence to North Africa – particularly, Libya. The area controlled by ISIS covers up to 90,000 square kilometers.