VIENNA — At the start of the school day, hundreds of students file into Vienna’s Higher Commercial Vocational School. Most wear sneakers and hoodies. Some wear headscarves, which isn’t at all unusual for a student body with a large Muslim minority.
But it was unusual when Samra Kesinovic, a trendy kid who liked to wear makeup, dyed her hair blonde and danced to pop music at lunch, wrote “I love al Qaeda” on the bathroom wall one day in January.
“She was brainwashed,” says the school's principal, Peter Slanar. Like other middle and high schools here in the capital, Higher Commercial has become one of the front lines in Vienna's battle against terrorism after several Austrian and other European teens joined up with the Islamic State (IS).
Samra was one of them.