Finnish Isis brides: "We want to return to Finland"

A visit by Yle to Syria’s Al-Hol refugee camp found 44 Finnish citizens — including 33 children — living there.

Finnish women at Syrian refugee camp Al-Hol. Image: Yle

Visiting the Al-Hol camp, Yle correspondent Antti Kuronen said he met five Finnish women who stated that 11 Finnish mothers and 33 children were living at the camp, which has become a temporary home to some 70,000 people.

"We are Finns and we don’t understand why we can’t return to Finland with our children," one of the women told Yle.

The women said they had been living in Syria for several years and that some of their children were born there.

All of the women said they were born in Finland and told Yle that they had made previous attempts to leave the caliphate.

"We tried to get out, but it was difficult as we didn’t have money to pay the smugglers. Kids are dying in the camp all the time, often from respiratory infections," they explained.

Finland may take responsibility for kids

Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen meanwhile told Yle that Finland was not planning to repatriate the women, whom he characterised as deeply radicalised.

Mykkänen told Yle that he hoped they would be tried in the International Court of Justice.

The minister said Finnish citizens affiliated with Isis will face arrest and criminal investigations regarding their involvement in terrorist activities if they return to Finland.

Story continues after photo.

Image: Matti Myller / Yle

Mykkänen said Finland is looking into ways of repatriating children of Finnish citizens living in refugee camps into the care of the state. Such a move would, however, require consent from guardians. But he underscored that the new government will make the final decision on the repatriation process for children whose parents joined Isis.