A trans woman and gay man have fled Russia to go to Syria and join Islamic extremists as a way of avoiding persecution, according to reports.
The pair, named as Alexei and Viktoria in the Russian media, are believed to have been lured by terrorist propaganda attempting to recruit new fighters who feel ‘out of place’.
It is unknown whether the two 22-year-olds are aware of the many killings of LGBTI individuals, who Islamic extremists have branded the ‘worst of creatures’.
The two are believed to have been the victims of persecution and abuse from family and others in their home of Kamchatka, a region in the extreme east of Russia.
And after watching a video made by the extremists, it is alleged that Viktoria felt like these people would ‘accept her as a woman’.
Both were put on a list of those wanted for terrorist or extremist activity.
It is unknown how they raised the funds to go to Syria or whether they have actually left the country. One unnamed police source has alleged the pair were found and put in a mental health institution, but this was reported in a disreputable tabloid.
Alexander Vinogradov, a police spokesperson, told kam.24.ru news agency: ‘We would always be interested in stopping people from joining a terrorist organisation but in this case there is a double motive.
‘Our information is that this would not be accepted if they managed to get all the way to Syria, and it is unlikely that they would live very long once their sexual orientation was revealed.’
Since ISIS, also known as Daesh, have taken control of territory in Iraq and Syria, there have been several executions of gay people, with many beheaded, thrown off buildings or stoned to death.
It is estimated that at least 1,500 people have been killed so far.