VIENNA - Two Austrian teenage girls intercepted on their way to marry fighters of the insurgent group Islamic State (IS) walked free from custody on Tuesday when a judge issued a preliminary ruling that they had committed no crime.
Prosecutors had asked a Salzburg court to place the girls, aged 16 and 17, in investigative custody pending an investigation into whether they were members of a terrorist organization.
The teens had returned to Austria from Romania, where they were picked up by authorities on a train on Dec. 30 as they tried to make their way to Syria to marry Islamic State jihadist fighters there.
But the Salzburg judge decided to release the girls.
"In her opinion the girls' behavior is not criminal, not yet, because they were stopped in Romania and did not really get to join a terrorist organization," a court spokeswoman said.