'I'm Still Fighting,' says Former ISIS Bride Hoping to Rebuild Life in UK

Published October 23rd, 2017 - 03:00 GMT
Mitat doesn't want to stay in Oujda as she fears her children will be viewed as the 'cubs of the caliphate' (AFP/File)
Mitat doesn't want to stay in Oujda as she fears her children will be viewed as the 'cubs of the caliphate' (AFP/File)

A physics student and former fashion blogger who escaped ISIS after being taken against her will to Syria is now rebuilding her life in Morocco but hopes her future lies in the U.K.

Islam Mitat, 24, is currently living in her hometown of Oujda, a town near the Algerian border, with her two children Abdullah and Maria, aged two and one.

She is readjusting to life away from the war zone but still lives in constant fear of ISIS.

"I can't relax. I'm still fighting. It feels weird just being able to go wherever I want."

Originally from Morocco, Mitat had been married for three months when her British husband, Ahmed Khalil, told her he was applying for papers that would allow her to live in the U.K.

She had met Ahmed, a 25-year-old businessman, on dating website Muslima.com, a marriage website used by 4.5 million Muslims worldwide, and he'd visited her home in Morocco to ask her parents for her hand in marriage.

He told her they would have to move to Turkey, where he had a new job that would keep things ticking over while they waited for the documents to arrive.

But it was all a lie. There was no job and Ahmed, who grew up near London, instead forced Mitat to go with him to Syria to the center of the ISIS 'caliphate'.

 

 

She had no choice but to set up home alongside other ISIS 'brides' such as the notorious 'Terror Twins' from Manchester, the 'White Widow' from Kent, and the schoolgirl runaways from Bethnal Green, East London.

When Ahmed was killed in battle, Mitat was forced to marry twice more, giving birth to two children in the jihadi heartland. Food was hard to come by and power cuts grew longer.

I can't trust anyone again," she said. "Especially men. The whole problem is always men."

She eventually managed to escape Raqqa and is now trying to put her life back together.

She wants to move to the U.K. and is seeking British citizenship for Abdullah, whose father was a Briton of Afghan background. Maria's father was Indian-Australian.

I just want to move on," she said to the Sunday Times. "I have the strength of 10 men now...I am doing this all for my kids."

"We needed to leave so they could have a better life. Some ISIS women left their children behind when they escaped. How can you do that? Your children are half your heart."

She doesn't want to stay in Oujda as she fears her children will be viewed as the 'cubs of the caliphate'.

She said her traumatized children are taking slow steps in their long road to recovery.

"Abdullah used to wake up and run to hide in the bathroom like we used to during airstrikes because he'd had bad dreams...but now he stays in the bed."

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

 


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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