This brave and beautiful 22-year-old Danish woman should be being hailed as a hero after giving up her college studies to go fight ISIS, but she hasn’t been.
Joanna Palani killed 100 ISIS fighters during battles in Syria and Iraq. The experienced sniper returned home from fighting terrorism only to learn a $1 million bounty has been placed on her head, and she has been labeled a “terrorist,” via Daily Mail.
“I was willing to give up my life and my freedom to stop ISIS advancing, so that everyone in Europe can be safe,” Palani said. “This was my choice, but I am seen as a terrorist by my own country.”
Palani is now living in hiding and fearful for her life. She even faces jail time because she defied the Danish government’s international travel ban, created to prevent citizens from joining ISIS, when she went off to fight the terrorist group instead.
“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,” Palani added.
The former soldier feels the government is trying to make an example of her and is creating the impression that her decision to leave the country and travel to Syria somehow makes her “just the same as ISIS.” Palani insists she is not a criminal.
“I would take ten years in jail with pride to save people, but I wouldn’t accept one day in jail for being a danger to Denmark. I don’t understand why they [the Danish intelligence service] would view me as a threat when I was fighting for Europe and for females everywhere,” Palani added.
Palani was born in a refugee camp and is of Iranian-Kurdish descent. Both her father and grandfather were Peshmerga fighters. Her family moved to Copenhagen when she was just a toddler. The sniper learned how to fire a gun when she was only nine.
The accomplished soldier was also a member of a team that freed women and children being held captive and abused as sex slaves by ISIS militants. Joanna Palani said she helped teach the women she rescued how to fight and become soldiers themselves.
“ISIS fighters are very easy to kill,” Palani said. “ISIS fighters are very good at sacrificing their own lives, but Assad’s soldiers are very well-trained, and they are specialist killing machines.”
Life has been very difficult for the heroic ISIS fighter since she returned home. Palani said she has struggled for even the most basic of necessities since leaving the battlefield.
“I live in one of the best countries in the world, but I am hungry and homeless and freezing cold in bed at night even though I am working full time. I don’t trust anyone,” the former soldier added.