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‘I want to join IS,’ missing Korean teen tweeted

/ 03:28 PM January 21, 2015

SEOUL — A missing South Korean teenager suspected of joining the Islamic State group had a Twitter account, “Sunni Mujahideen,” on which he tweeted his desire to enrol with the militant group, police said Wednesday.

The 18-year-old middle school dropout, identified only by his surname Kim, went missing in Turkey earlier this month, and there is speculation that he crossed into Syria.

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“Many materials suggest that he was greatly interested in IS, but we cannot confirm whether he has joined them”, Chung Jae-Il, a senior Seoul police officer told journalists.

If confirmed, it would be the first known case of a South Korean national joining any radical Islamist group.

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The teen was last seen leaving his hotel in the southern Turkish city of Kilis — not far from the border — on January 10.

A South Korean foreign ministry official said Tuesday that CCTV footage obtained by Turkish police showed Kim taking an unlicensed taxi, together with an unidentified man, outside a mosque near his hotel.

They got out near a refugee camp in Besiriye, about 18 kilometers (11.25 miles) southeast from Kilis, the official said.

Police said Kim posted a series of messages on his Twitter account in October last year, asking for help in approaching the Islamic State group.

“How to join IS? Does anyone know? I want to join IS”, he tweeted.

Kim’s parents allowed him to travel to Turkey, along with a family friend, after he pleaded for the chance to meet with a friend there he had met online.

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TOPICS: IS, Islamic State, South Korea, technology, Twitter
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