Carla-Josephine S. is a German national. In 2015, she left Germany with her three children without advising their father, who was entitled to joint custody, to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. In 2018, the house where Carla-Josephine S. and her children were staying in Raqqa was exposed to various missile or bomb attacks during one of which her eight-year-old son was fatally injured.
Her case is part of ongoing structural and person-specific investigations in Germany for international crimes committed by members of non-state armed groups in Syria and Iraq.
The structural investigation concerning crimes committed by non-state armed groups in Syria and Iraq, including extrajudicial killings, torture, inhumane treatment, abduction for the purpose of blackmail and other war crimes, was opened by the German prosecutorial authorities in August 2014. It has resulted thus far in investigations against over 50 individuals involved in crimes committed by non-state armed groups, which have led to indictments and further prosecution on several occasions.
A part of the investigation is focused on the attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) against the region around the town of Sinjar (northwestern Iraq) in August 2014. The Yazidi minority was reportedly subjected to genocide, mass execution, widespread kidnappings and sexual enslavement in Syria and Iraq. In December 2016, the Supreme Court of Germany issued an arrest warrant against a high-ranking ISIS commander allegedly responsible for genocide and war crimes, including abduction and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women in Syria and Iraq.
On 29 April 2020, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf found Carla-Josephine S. guilty of a war crime (child theft resulting in death) and breaches of the Military Weapons Control Act.