A Swedish teen rescued from members of the Islamic State in Iraq gave her first interview since she was discovered by Kurdish special forces, Reuters reported.
The 16-year old, who described life in the death cult as “really hard,” said that she was tricked into going to Iraq by her boyfriend at the time. In a brief interview with a Kurdish TV channel, Marlin Stivani Nivarlain said that she met her boyfriend in 2014 after she dropped out of school in Sweden.
"First we were good, but then he started to look at ISIS videos and speak about them and stuff like that," Nivarlain told Kurdistan 24."Then he said he wanted to go to ISIS, and I said OK, no problem, because I didn't know what ISIS means, what Islam is — nothing.”
The two departed Sweden in May 2015, making the trek across Europe by bus and train, until they reached the Turkish border province of Gaziantep, Reuters reported. From there, they crossed into Syria.
Islamic State militants ferried the couple by bus with other men and women to the city of Mosul in Iraq and provided them with a house. The 16-year-old said there was no electricity or running water.
"I didn't have any money either — it was a really hard life," she told Kurdistan 24. "When I had a phone, I started to contact my mum, and I said, 'I want to go home.'"
Nivarlain, who was rescued Feb. 17, remains in Iraq's Kurdistan region but will eventually be handed over to Swedish authorities.
Security services estimate the amount of Western men and women who have left home to join the Islamic State since the group took over large parts of Iraq and Syria in June 2014 to be in the hundreds.
According to Reuters, a mother who took her 14-month-old son to Syria to join the Islamic State was sentenced to six years in prison by a British court earlier this month.
Nivarlain compared life under Islamic State with that in her native Sweden: "In Sweden we have everything, and when I was there we didn't have anything."