A group of British Muslim women have been filmed urging other women and children to support and join Isis, a 12-month undercover investigation has revealed.
The women, identified after their pro-Isis activity on social media, were caught on camera lecturing women against western values, declaring them anti-Islamic, urging women to join Isis in Syria and using racially abusive language to describe “filthy Jews” and Israelis.
Umm Saalihah and Umm L, the names they go by on Twitter, were filmed by giving two-hour lectures in London in secret closed women-only meetings in community centres, as Channel 4 slowly gained access to them over the course of months.
The women appear to have all belonged to extremist group once known as al-Muhajiroun, set up two decades ago and banned in 2010.
Umm Saalihah, whose real name may be Jamila, is a mother in her 30s who is believed to have lived with a well-known extremist who had been arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism.
Glorifying the violence of extremists operating in Syria and Iraq under Isis, also known as the Islamic State, she described the fighters’ seeing “paradise” as they look “down in the barrel of a gun” and states “the world is his oyster”.
In a speech in east London attended by women and children, Umm L – a mother of four whose real name may be Rubana – claims the UK government labels good Muslims extremists.
“Because the statement “Lá iláha illallah” [there is no god but Allah] that statement that makes you Muslim, that is a rejection of democracy and the rule of law.
“This is a fight against Muslims and Islam,” she claims. “It’s not the first time the alliance has been formed like they have now with this coalition against the Khilafah [Islamic State]. But Allah one by one he will destroy them.”
Umm L, who established and led the female wing of the al-Muhajiron group, adds that “more and more people” are becoming “what they call radicalised”.
The reporter, who gained the women’s trust by attending public rallies, was eventually accused by those present of being a “spy” and banned from the meetings. The filming took place prior to the attacks on Paris, which were later claimed by Isis.
Presented with the findings, Former Chief Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service Nazir Afzal said Umm L’s speeches were “extremely dangerous”.
“She does more than support them, she’s saying that the so-called Islamic State is the Caliphate, and by supporting them, she is potentially committing a criminal offence.”
Hannah Stuart, a counter-terrorism expert with the Henry Jackson society, labelled the presence of young girls and children “particularly worrying,” in regards to “what these children are being taught to believe about their own state versus one of the most brutal terrorist organisations”.
Around 700 people are thought to have travelled to Isis-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq, among them entire families with young children and teenage schoolgirls.