The creepy keeps getting creepier…
NABLUS, West Bank (AP) Relatives of a West Bank man whose 16-year-old American girlfriend flew to the Mideast to marry him after they met on the Internet are distraught that she has returned home, and say they still hope to bring the couple together.
Last week, Katherine Lester slipped out of her mother’s house in Gilford, Mich., and boarded a flight to Israel, where the mother of her prospective groom was waiting to pick her up and take her to Jericho.
But U.S. authorities, who had tracked her down through the popular MySpace.com Web site where she had met 20-year-old Abdullah Jinzawi, intercepted her at an Amman, Jordan, stopover on Friday, seized her passport and forced her to go home. She has been in seclusion since returning late Friday.
The wedding is off at least for now.
Sana Jinzawi, Abdullah’s mother, said her son is heartbroken and insisted the two are in love.
“She was going to sign a marriage contract as soon as she got here,” she said, adding that she told Katherine to “bring a pink dress for the engagement party and a white dress for the wedding.”
“She wanted to convert to Islam and wear the head covering and live with us and adopt our culture,” she said.
Jericho, a dusty backwater of 17,000 people, is a place of relative calm in the strife-torn West Bank, where Israelis and Palestinians frequently clash.
Abdullah Jinzawi, who works in his father’s business, delivering goods to minimarkets, is no longer giving interviews. But in a phone interview with WNEM-TV in Saginaw, Mich., on Saturday, he said he met Katherine on the social networking hub seven months ago, that he was a wealthy businessman and that he wanted to marry her. He said he sent her the money for the flight.
“I love her, and no one can pull me away from her,” he told the station. “She’s only mine, you know, and I do love her a lot.” He said he still plans to marry her, once she is old enough.
Sana Jinzawi, who holds an Israeli identity card, said she traveled to Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv to greet the would-be bride last week.
“When she didn’t arrive it was a sad day for us. All kinds of thoughts went through our heads and we asked the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, and they told us she went back to the U.S. from Jordan,” she said.
The mother said her family was taken aback by all the attention the case has received and is afraid the FBI would become involved. They insist they did not want to hurt the girl and had no idea she acted without her parents’ consent.
Hopefully, when she gets older Katherine Lester will realize just how big the mistake she almost made is.
Still doesn’t change the fact that this whole story gives me the jibblies.