Hundreds of British women are reportedly desperate to go to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis) and become jihadi brides. At least 11 women have been linked to front line fighters, according to academic experts.
Melanie Smith from King’s College International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, is in contact with 53 girls who have fled to Syria or attempted to get there. “Hundreds. I come across girls every day who say, ‘I’m so desperate to go over there but it’s just so hard for me'”, she said. “The proportion of girls who eventually make the transition from wanting to go to physically going is tiny. But there are so many people that want to go. And it’s fairly overwhelming. There’s a lot of that kind of mentality. It’s laziness, really. And they’re bored with their life here. They say they have more freedom in IS.”
For example, twins Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, followed their brother from Manchester to Syria and have also reportedly married IS fighters. Between them the twins have 28 GCSEs and were training as doctors. Their social media posts have shown images of machine guns next to the Qur’an.