Mother Of British 'Terror Twins' Back Home After Being Held Prisoner By ISIS

| by Jared Keever

A mother, whose two daughters left home to fight with ISIS, is back home in Britain after having been captured by ISIS fighters during a trip to Syria to rescue the girls. 

Details of 54-year-old Khadra James’ ordeal are not entirely clear. But what is known is that James and her husband, Ibrahim James, 52, left Britain in July for the war-torn region to find their daughters. The Somali-born couple said their daughters had become radicalized online and left home to marry ISIS fighters in Syria, the Daily Mail reports. 

The girls, Zahra and Salma Halane, are both 16 years old and dubbed the “terror twins” by some media outlets. They reportedly left home some time in June, joining the growing number of teen girls who are leaving Western countries to join the fighting in Syria — a phenomenon reported by The Guardian in September.

James and her husband first flew to Turkey to meet up with a Muslim charity worker from Denmark.

That worker was able to put Ibrahim James in contact with an ISIS chief in Syria, near the city of al-Bab, where one of his daughters was believed to be. 

“He talked to her for a long time but she didn't want to return. She said she had been exclusively chosen by Allah to come to al-Sham (Syria),” once source was quoted as saying. 

When he returned to Turkey he and his wife decided to travel to the Syrian city of Manbij and speak to their other daughter. 

That is when the couple was apprehended on suspicion of being Danish and British spies. Khadra was eventually freed in September and is now back home in Manchester, England. 

The girls’ departure originally surprised their community. Many believed the girls were good students and were studying to be doctors. 

“I’m shocked they have gone. They didn’t seem to be radical or extremist in their views,” one neighbor told the Daily Mail in July.

The parents of the girls have 10 children. One son, a 21-year-old, is reported to be fighting with al-Shabab, a militant group in Somalia.

One senior leader of the British Somali community where the girls lived, said he was disappointed by their decision to join up with ISIS.

“Everyone is really shocked the twins are still in Syria with these so-called jihadi fighters who are carrying out such atrocities,” he said. “We, as a Somali people, are all appalled by their actions but we are also desperately sad for their family.”

Sources: Daily Mail, The Guardian, Daily Mail (July)

Photo Source: The Guardian