British female extremists are operating a police force that punishes women for breaking strict “law” in the Syrian city of Raqqa, as Mail Online and The Telegraph both published on Sunday.
New evidence shows a number of British female recruits to the al-Khanssaa brigade, an all-women militia set up by the extremist group “Daesh” [ISIL] in Raqqa, Mail Online and The Telegraph said.
According to the “Terrorism” Research and Analysis Consortium, a US-based monitoring group, al-Khanssaa was set up by “Daesh” commanders in February this year .
Brigade members are paid a monthly salary of 25,000 Syrian pounds – about £100.
Their duties include searching burka-clad women to ensure they are not enemy fighters in disguise.
Meanwhile, academics at King’s College London have identified three other British females as members of the group, saying that there are about 60 women from Britain who have gone to Syria.
A research associate at King’s College’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalization, Melanie Smith, told journalists of The Sunday Telegraph: “This is ISIL’s female law enforcement.”
“We think it’s a mixture of British and French women but its social media accounts are run by the British and they are written in English,” she said.
“Given how small the community networks are – we know there are about 500 male British “jihadis” out there – it is quite likely these women move in the same circles as the British killer of Foley and Sotloff.”
Additionally, she said more women are heading for Syria on a daily basis.
“In the last week I have encountered two dozen Twitter accounts of women wanting to get across the border into Syria from Turkey,” she said, adding, “The number of women wanting to go has sky rocketed in the last week.”
“It is now easier for women to make “jihad” than men because they are under less suspicion when they leave the UK,” Smith added.
Moreover, a key figure is believed to be Aqsa Mahmood, 20, of the British city of Glasgow, who fled to the country last year .
Most of these women, including Mahmood – are aged between 18 and 24, with al-Khanssaa said to be seeking out people engaging in Western culture in Raqqa.
Mahmood, who was educated at private school and had wanted to be a doctor, is linked to the al-Khanssaa brigade through her “jihadi” name Umm Layth, which she uses on social network sites.
The ICSR research team has linked Umm Layth to a cluster of at least three other women Umm Haritha, Umm Ubaydiah and Umm Waqqas all from Britain but whose true identities are not clear. Umm Ubaydiah, who also has Swedish connections, is thought to run the social networking account for al-Khanssaa.
Additionally, one of the British female extremists – known only as Umm Farriss – who arrived in Syria in February posted on the internet a picture of her suicide belt, the first evidence that British woman are being armed with bombs.
Under the ISIL interpretation of law, women are not permitted to fight but they are allowed to engage in suicide bombings.
Moreover, others known to be in the city include Khadijar Dare, 25, a mother from south London who earlier this month tweeted her hope of becoming the first female hostage killer.