Sunday, October 28, 2018


Members of Britain's biggest suspected female jihadi cell including the Muslim convert daughter of an ex-Army paratrooper are among dozens of Isis brides flocking back to the UK
Around 80 women are said to be returning to Britain imminently from Syria
Scores of jihadi brides are languishing in Kurdish detention centers in Syria
Kurdish forces are imploring western governments to take their citizens back
One female cell included several British women married to Portuguese jihadis
The men were radicalised in London after travelling to Britain to play football
All six of the husbands are said to have died on the battlefields of the near east
Their widowed wives are now seeking to return home along with their children

PUBLISHED: 10:11 GMT, 28 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:50 GMT, 28 October 2018

Natalie Bracht, one of the jihadi brides, pictured with her children at Kings Cross station in 2008 as she fled the UK +8

A group of women suspected of forming an all-female jihadi cell after travelling to Syria with their Isis husbands are seeking to return to the UK - an investigation has revealed.

Natalie Bracht, sisters Reema Iqbal and Zara Iqbal, Ruzina Khanam, Maylbongwe Sibanda are among hundreds of British women who travelled to the country with their fanatical husbands to wage jihad.

Now though, the Sunday Times reports that up to 80 widowed jihadi brides are about to return to the UK after losing their husbands on the battlefield.

About 150 British women are known to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join Isis, many of whom have died.

But until now, only a small number of women have returned to the UK, where they face questioning by police and the possibility of having their children removed from their care.

Bracht, the Iqbal sisters, Khanam and Sibanda are known to have travelled to the war-torn region with their Portuguese-born husbands who were radicalised in London after travelling to the capital to seek careers as professional footballers.

The men, who are known associates of Jihadi John, were said to have converted to Islam after meeting notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary - who was released from prison in Britain this week.

Celso Rodrigues da Costa followed his older sibling Edgar to Syria to join ISIS and took both Reema Iqbal and Natalie Bracht with him

Nero Saraiva, 28, was part of a group of Portuguese men who converted to Islam in London and travelled to Syria with their wives to fight for Isis +8

From 2012 onwards the men started travelling to Syria and east Africa along with their wives.

'My family was a good family, but it all changed when the girls got married to these men,' a relative of the Iqbal sisters said. 'I hardly ever saw them after that.'

Reema Iqbal's husband Celso Rodrigues Da Costa, a former Harrods sales assistant who claimed to have had a trial with Arsenal, is one of the six who made his name as a brutal killer after travelling to Syria.

Da Costa 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, has been accused of filming an Isis stunt in which a captured Jordanian pilot was burnt alive.

European security officials the Portuguese men are responsible for the filming and dissemination of the series of sickening beheading videos, including the execution of British hostages Alan Henning and David Haines.

The Six Portuguese men were raised as Christians and had travelled to London to pursue careers as professional footballers. Pictured: The youngest of the east London terror cell, Fabio Pocas, 22 +8

The group of men were said to have converted to Islam and travelled to Syria after falling in with radical hate preacher Anjem Choudary +8

Despite his marriage to Iqbal, Ringleader Da Costa is said to have married Natalie Bracht after grooming her over the internet.

Bracht holds dual British and German citizenship having moved to the UK from Dusseldorf in 2006 with her children.

She famously hit the headlines back in 2008 after disappearing from her home in Sunderland after being told social services were planning on taking her children away.

Bracht, who police say has a personality disorder, was pictured with her children in Kings Cross station wearing Islamic robes and was eventually arrested in Munich more than a month later.

After being released without charged she was said to have fallen in with jihadi preachers in Germany, and western intelligence sources say Bracht ended up in Syria towards the end of 2014.

Bracht is now thought to be among a group of western women held in Kurdish-controlled camps in northern Syria. The fate of her three children remains unclear.

The former footballers were said to have been contemporaries of Jihadi John (pictured) and carried out brutal executions themselves +8

Natalie Bracht (pictured) is one of dozens of British jihadi brides now languishing in Kurdish detention centers after the fall of Isis +8

Just before her alleged departure to Syria her father John Brown, a former British paratrooper, received a dramatic phone call from Bracht saying she was in Hungary.

'She sounded scared,' said Brown. 'She told me, 'Please pick me up, I'm on my way to the Austrian border. If they find me they'll kill me.'

Many of the 80 women due to return to Britain are currently languishing in Kurdish-run detention camps in eastern Syria after the fall of Isis last year.

The Kurds are imploring Britain to take responsibility for its nationals and bring them home.

One of the relatives of the Iqbal sisters told relatives one woman in the camps had been issued with a new British passport and travel documents for her and her child.

Security sources also confirmed to the Times that several of the women had already arrived back in the UK.

'The vast majority of those returning to Britain from Syria are women and children,' an official said.

'The more concerning cases, particularly the men, have not been returning. But we will speak to everyone...because they may have been involved in terrorist activity.'

The British government confirmed this week that hundreds of known terror associates like Natalie Bracht (left) would be given passports and allowed to return home imminently +8


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