Sunday 8 December 2019

Family beg woman who travelled to Syria and married Isis fighter to come home

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Old Aleppo, after claiming to have advanced in the area. REUTERS/George Ourfalian
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Old Aleppo, after claiming to have advanced in the area. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

By Lucy Christie

The parents of a "bedroom radical" who travelled to Syria and married an Isis fighter have pleaded for her to return home.

Aqsa Mahmood, 20, left her Glasgow home in November after becoming radicalised, her family said.

Muzaffar and Khalida Mahmood said they were horrified that their "sweet, peaceful, intelligent" child had joined jihadists in Syria.

They said in a statement: "We still love you, Aqsa, but we now have to put your family, your brother and sisters first as you have betrayed us, our community and the people of Scotland when you took this step.

"You have torn the heart out of our family and changed our lives forever. Please come home."

They warned: "If our daughter, who had all the chances and freedom in life, could become a bedroom radical, then it is possible for this to happen to any family."

Privately-educated Aqsa is reported to have encouraged terrorist acts via a Twitter account under the name Umm Layth. The account has since been deleted.

She travelled through Turkey to Aleppo in Syria in November and was reported missing to police.

Before disappearing she attended Craigholme School then university and was "well integrated into society", her parents said.

They said she was brought up "with love and affection in a happy home".

Mrs Mahmood wiped away tears as solicitor Aamer Anwar read a statement on her and her husband's behalf at a press conference in Glasgow.

They said: "She may believe that the jihadists of Isis are her new family but they are not and are simply using her."

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News