Scottish woman travels to Syria to become ISIS bride, 'martyr'

  • Agencies, London
  • Updated: Sep 07, 2014 13:42 IST

A Scottish woman who travelled to Syria and married an ISIS fighter told her parents she wanted to become a martyr and would see them again on the “day of judgment”.
Aqsa Mahmood left Glasgow last November and called her parents from the Turkish border before entering Syria to tell them of her intention to join the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Mahmood travelled through Turkey to Aleppo in Syria last year and was reported missing.

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Speaking to CNN, her father Muzaffar Mahmood wept as he recalled his daughter’s words. “One message was, ‘I will see you on the day of judgment. I will take you to heaven, I will hold your hand. That’s what she said. ‘I want to become a martyr,” he said.

In an emotional appeal earlier this week, her mother Khalida Mahmood pleaded Aqsa to come back. “Aqsa, my dear daughter please come back, I’m missing you so much. In the name of Allah, please come home. I love you,” she said.

The 20-year-old former radiography student exhorted Muslims to carry out terrorist attacks, via a Twitter account under the name Umm Layth. “Follow the examples of your brothers from Woolwich, Texas and Boston,” she tweeted. “’If you cannot make it to the battlefield, then bring the battlefield to yourself.” The account has since been deleted.

Mahmood is the latest in a series of women from the West joining radical movements. Melanie Smith of the King’s College International Centre for Study of Radicalisation said around 200 western women have probably been recruited by the extremist group. Through social media accounts, Smith has also been tracking 21 British women who have joined ISIS.

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