British girls as young as 14 are being helped to join Islamic State fighters in Syria as jihadi brides in increasing numbers by London-based “facilitators”, the Standard had learnt.
Teenagers are being helped with applying for passports, given funding and sometimes even accompanied to the region after being groomed online.
Pockets of east London in particular are becoming hotbeds for organised groups of men and women helping young IS supporters to get to the Syrian conflict zone, the Standard has learned.
Haras Rafiq, an expert at British counter-terrorism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, says the organisation is “aware” of groups working across London but particularly in the east of the capital.
He said: “The average age is being reduced. Some of the girls getting out there are only 14.