A Family’s Journey from Cologne to the Islamic State


Excerpts from the final chat between the son and his father in the spring of 2021:

DER SPIEGEL 23/2021











SPIEGEL International








Animal lover Ismail and his kittens



Animal lover Ismail and his kittens





Schoolboy Emre in the bedroom her grew up in: "The boys were often alone during that time."



Schoolboy Emre in the bedroom her grew up in: “The boys were often alone during that time.”

Excerpts from BKA interrogation of Ismail in Ankara, Turkey, on Feb. 19, 2019

An excerpt from the BKA’s interrogation of Ismail

The S. brothers in Libya in 2012 Video: Private

The S. brothers in Libya in 2012 Video: Private





Weapon parts in the parents luggage in 2013



Weapon parts in the parents luggage in 2013

An excerpt from Sarah’s farewell letter to her parents





Ammunition in Ismail's apartment in Raqqa



Ammunition in Ismail’s apartment in Raqqa

Excerpt from a phone call between the mother and Emre on June 23, 2014

Excerpt from Ahmet S.’s timeline

Excerpt from a phone conversation between Ismail and his mother on May 18, 2014

Excerpt from a phone call between Ahmet S. and Perihan S. on Jan. 16, 2014

Excerpt from a phone call between the mother and Emre on Jan. 22, 2014:





Father S. (middle) in Syria



Father S. (middle) in Syria

Telephone call between the father and Ismail on Jan. 24, 2014

Phone conversation between the mother and Ismail on April 26, 2014





The guest room: a Kalashnikov and a hot-water bottle



The guest room: a Kalashnikov and a hot-water bottle





Ismail on a Turkish beach vacation after his return from the war in Syria



Ismail on a Turkish beach vacation after his return from the war in Syria

Phone call between the mother and the grandmother on June 19, 2015

“Ismail is a total bastard. I shot at him.”

Phone call between the mother and the brothers’ grandmother on June 19, 2015

An SMS text message from Sarah to her sister on Sept. 20, 2015:

Excerpts from questioning at the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in October 2019

Excerpts from questioning at the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in October 2019

Excerpt from a chat between Emre and his father in 2017

Emre’s first letter from captivity on Oct. 11, 2018





Mother Perihan in Ankara: "The main thing is that they are alive and healthy."



Mother Perihan in Ankara: “The main thing is that they are alive and healthy.”

From prison, she wrote Ismail many letters

Emre to his mother from Kurdish captivity, Feb. 18, 2019

The Reporting of this Story



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