British jihadi brides are returning to the UK after being widowed or growing tired of life with extremists, it’s been claimed.
Up to 10 British women and their children have left the ISIS ‘caliphate’ very recently and ‘a couple’ have entered the UK – numbers apparently backed up by both counter-terrorism sources and a former jihadi bride.
UK police and Home Office officials anticipate more women will arrive this year, some having grown disillusioned with the restrictions of life with Muslim fundamentalists.
An estimated 50 women have quit the UK for Iraq and Syria in the last few years, some accompanying their husbands and children, others going alone. (The picture shows L-R British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum who fled to Syria in 2015).
But as the grip of Isis has weakened in its territories, life for the brides has become more difficult.
The Daily Telegraph reported that one German Isis bride still in the middle east believes at least 30 European women had left the caliphate since the beginning of the year.
“Dozens of the women have left Isil areas and tried to get to Turkey since the beginning of the year, including about five-10 Britons,” said the 28-year-old, using the name Umm Aisha to protect her identity.
“When your husband is dead, or the situation is dangerous, the women are brought to houses where they live all together. It’s like being a chicken in a cage. Women are treated very badly, they are like slaves with no freedom to even leave the house.”
It is believed a total of 850 British men and women have left to go to Iraq and Syria. Of these, about 130 are thought to have been killed and nearly 350 have returned to the UK.
Those returning face police questioning if detected, but arrest is not guaranteed. They may not even be the subject of state surveillance depending on the perceived risk they pose or any plots they carried out before leaving the UK. With resources stretched, their return is a serious conundrum for Britain’s security services.