The parents of a young British woman who went to Syria to marry an ISIS militant said they were “betrayed” by their daughter and called her a “bedroom radical.” Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow, Scotland, went to Syria in November, her family told reporters on Wednesday. Her case comes amid heightened concern about Westerners fighting alongside extremists in Iraq and Syria – and the risk that they could return to carry out terror attacks.
Mahmood, educated at an exclusive private school, used a now-defunct Twitter account to promote militant terrorism, praising those responsible for the Boston marathon bomb and the massacre at Fort Hood, the Daily Record newspaper reported.
"If our daughter who had all the chances and freedoms in life could become a bedroom radical, then it is possible for this to happen to any family,” her parents said in a statement issued by their lawyer. “We were horrified when we heard that our daughter had become radicalized and moved to Aleppo in Syria. We always had high hopes for her and would have loved for her to become a doctor and save lives. She may believe that the jihadists of ISIS are her new family but they are not and they are simply using her.”
They added: “We still love you but you now have to put your family first as you betrayed us, your community and the people of Scotland when you took this step.” Since the civil war in Syria erupted in 2011, numerous reports have surfaced of Western women traveling to marry Islamist fighters.
- Alastair Jamieson
First published September 4 2014, 4:00 AM