Up to 80 widowed wives of ISIS fighters in Syria are set to return to the UK where they
will be questioned and face the possibility of having their children removed from their care, an investigation revealed.
They are members of Britain’s biggest suspected female terror cells, which includes in its ranks two sisters from east London, the daughter of a former British Army paratrooper and an IT graduate.
Their husbands were among the world’s most infamous extremists. A joint investigation by the British newspaper The Sunday Times and the Portuguese magazine Sabado identified among the returnees six women from Britain whose Portuguese-born husbands were part of the notorious cell dubbed the Beatles, linked to Mohammed Emwazi or Jihadi John.
The Portuguese men are deemed responsible for the filming and dissemination of a series of beheading videos, including the execution of British hostages Alan Henning and David Haines.
They were said to have converted to Islam after meeting notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who was released from prison in Britain this week.
The husband of Reema Iqbal, Celso Rodrigues Da Costa, was a former Harrods sales assistant who appeared in an Isis propaganda video boasting of celebrating the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha by slaughtering infidels.
Another of the group, Fabio Pocas, the husband of Ruzina Khanam, is thought to be the one who filmed the stunt in which a captured Jordanian pilot was burnt alive.
Among the150 British women known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS, those who have survived the demise of the group constitute a thorny problem.
Kurdish officials have been pressuring the international community to take captured foreign members of the Islamic State back and prosecute them on their own soil.
But UK officials are aware that successful prosecution may be problematic because of the difficulty in collecting conclusive evidence.