A British woman who goes by the name Aisha spent a year secretly documenting ISIS’ efforts to radicalize young women in London. She began her undercover campaign by tweeting in support of radical Islam, and was soon contacted by recruiters who encouraged her to use her “mum’s bank card” to book a ticket to Syria. Aisha also received a private message from Sally Jones, a 45-year-old, former British punk singer who defected to the Islamic State. When Aisha tweeted at Jones, complaining that her mother did not want her to wear a hijab, Jones sent a direct message to Aisha that said: “Start saving for a plane ticket xxx and don’t tell anyone.”
Soon, Aisha would be exposed to ISIS’ on-the-ground recruiting tactics. Abu Haleema, a preacher who was arrested on terrorism charges in January, reached out to Aisha on Twitter and offered to put her in touch with women’s “study groups” in London. He also asked her to attend a leafleting campaign outside a McDonald’s in East London. It was there that Aisha met some of the female supporters of ISIS whom she had been following on Twitter. A few days later, she was invited to attend one of the aforementioned “study groups,” during which a Twitter radical mocked the Western coalition fighting against ISIS, and praised jihad. “What can you do to a person who looks down in the barrel of a gun and sees paradise after that?” she said. “What can you do? The world is his oyster.”
During the second session that Aisha attended, the preacher accused Israelis of imprisoning Palestinian children. “The amount of Muslim children — I won’t even use the word Palestinian — Muslim children in the custody of those filthy Jews…” she said. “The audacity and the arrogance of these Jews — they encourage killing of Muslim children and Muslim women.”
Aisha recorded the study groups with a hidden camera. A film about her undercover exploits was broadcast by the UK’s Channel 4, and can be seen here.
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.