Jihadi speed dating: Isis brides reveal how they met men in the caliphate

Isis brides speak out about their lives after fleeing caliphate

A refugee camp has also been set up in Ain Issa

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Former brides of Islamic State fighters who have fled the caliphate have spoken out about their lives - and revealed that a system of rapid-fire dating was used to meet partners.

Many women who have run away from married life within the militant group are now being held in a concrete jail in the Syrian desert town of Ain Issa, as they await their next destination.

A refugee camp surrounds them in the prison about 30 miles north of Raqqa, the de facto capital of Isis, according to CNN.

One woman, called Saida, said the entire process of finding a partner, from first introduction to marriage, can take only a few minutes.

Saida said: "When the woman arrives in this madafa [a women's dormitory], she makes a sort of CV. 

"She puts down her age, her name, what her personality is like, and what she looks for in a man. And men also post their CVs. It's 'dating'.

"So you meet, you talk for 15-20 minutes, and then it's a yes or no. If they both agree then they get married. It's very quick."

Many of the wives ran from their husbands and lives when US-backed forces took more control of Raqqa, which has been Isis' Syrian stronghold since the group emerged in 2014.

Some paid smugglers to take them out of the city and they were then moved further on by Kurdish forces, before ending up in the camp.

Saida, who is originally from Montpellier in France, said that she actually escaped with her husband but he died on the journey. They had paid $6,000 (£4,600) to smugglers to leave Raqqa.

May, a Syrian English teacher from Homs, also shed light on her marriage to a member of Isis.

May married a man named Bilal after her first husband was killed. She explained she was lucky as her husband is a good man, but others ended up marrying and divorcing several times in quick succession.

Other women in the prison camp say they never married Isis fighters during their time in the caliphate.

One such woman, Rahma, said the men "say they want to jihad for the sake of Allah, but what they want is only about women and sex. It's disgusting."

Another, Noor, said there was a lot of fighting in the women's dormitory. She recalled people speaking in a "harsh manner, gossiping, shout[ing] at each other, back biting, and fighting."