Joana Palani, 23, gave up on her studies and fought against extremists in Syria and Iraq as a sniper. She also claimed that she has freed a group of women and children that were held as sex slaves by ISIS.
Palani is of Iranian-Kurdish ancestry and her parents were both Peshmerga fighters. She was born in a UN refugee camp and they were able to move to Copenhagen when she was still a toddler.
She has decided to give up her life in Denmark and join the war against ISIS. According to her, “I was willing to give up my life and my freedom to stop ISIS from advancing, so that everyone in Europe can be safe.”
However, she was branded as a terrorist when she returned back home in Copenhagen because she broke the strict anti-terror laws that does not allow her to go back to Syria. According to her, “I am sorry I had to break the travel ban [imposed on me], but I felt I had no choice. I did not expect to lose almost everything for fighting for the safety of the same country which is now trying to take my freedom.”
She also admitted that ISIS is after her head with a $1m ‘kill or capture’ bounty. She was arrested last December 7th in Denmark under a tough new law that intends to stop citizens from joining the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. She was, however, freed before Christmas.
Palani has been estranged from her home but she admitted that she is not regretting anything. She said, “I am sorry for breaking the law but I had no choice in my mind at the time. Those I risked my life for, are now taking away my freedom. I did not expect to lose almost everything for fighting for our freedom and our safety.”