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Court to consider extending arrest of Russian student charged with attempting to join IS

March 23, 6:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Varvara Karaulova was arrested on 28 October 2015 and officially charged with an attempt to join IS on November 10
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Varvara Karaulova (Alexandra Ivanova)

Varvara Karaulova (Alexandra Ivanova)

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Moscow’s Lefortovsky court will consider extending the arrest of Moscow State University (MSU) student Varvara Karaulova (Alexandra Ivanova) charged with attempting to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization banned in Russia.

Karaulova was arrested on 28 October 2015 and officially charged with an attempt to join IS on November 10. The term of Karaulova’s arrest ends on March 27.

Varvara Karaulova, a 19-year-old student, sprang to notoriety in Russia and abroad at the very end of May last year when she walked out of her apartment telling her parents she was going to the university but turned up at an airport and boarded a flight for Istanbul.

Operatives from the Turkish office of Interpol detained Karaulova and another twelve Russian citizens during an attempt to cross the Turkish-Syrian border. All of them had supposedly come to trickle into Syria and join the IS militants.

Varvara, who was escorted by her father on the return trip, came back to Moscow from Istanbul on 12 June 2015. Upon completion of a formal security check on her the court decided to refrain from instituting a criminal case against her.

On Tuesday, October 27 the court arrested the people who had recruited Karaulova herself and had tried to enmesh her in the IS operations.

On November 11, the court denied the girl's request to be placed under house arrest and said she had admitted her guilt. Investigators said they feared Karaulova, who had changed her name to Alexandra Ivanova, would try to contact her recruiters if she was released from custody.

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