Jihadi brides who are suspected of forming Britain’s largest all-female terror cell in Syria alongside their ISIS husbands are to return to the UK with their children.
Up to 80 widowed jihadi brides who lost their husbands during combat are to be returned imminently with their children, while others will be returned by the end of the year.
The Times investigation revealed that security sources did not dispute the figures and hinted that some had already started arriving in the country.
However, the higher risk cases – particularly the men – have not been returning.
The women were detained after the fall of ISIS.
The investigation comes as Kurdish forces are mounting pressures on European governments to repatriate the women, many of whom are being held in detention camps in northern Syria controlled by Kurdish forces.
Abdul Karim Omar, a Kurdish leader in charge of the repatriation of foreigners, told The Times that they will “not let them stay here”.
So far, some 1,050 British nationals – including 150 women – are known to have joined jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.
The threats posed by women are not being underestimated.
A Whitehall source said: “There was a long-held view that women do not pose the same level of threat as men. Such views have changed.”
In July, a King’s College London report showed that the roles of women and minors will become more important in maintaining the legacy of the caliphate.
It added that women and youngsters have “demonstrated their prominence as security threats” but their numbers are “significantly underestimated”.
Joana Cook, senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and report co-author, said: “We consider women as potential security threats based on several factors.
“[These include] the physical security roles and related training that women have undertaken in IS-held territory, and the potential to transfer or apply these skills in other locations, or to pass these on to other people… including other women and their children.
“The narratives within IS itself related to women’s roles in combat have also evolved… women have now been told it is obligatory to fight under certain circumstances.”