UK

Aqsa Mahmood, Glasgow Girl Turned Jihadist, Told Her Parents She 'Wanted To Be A Martyr'

06/09/2014 10:21 BST | Updated 06/09/2014 17:59 BST

The Irn-Bru loving Scottish woman who travelled to Syria and married an Islamic State (IS) fighter told her heartbroken parents she wanted to become a martyr, it has been reported.

Aqsa Mahmood left her family home in Glasgow last November and called her parents from the Turkish border before entering Syria to tell them of her intentions to join the radical movement.

The 20-year-old Glaswegian left her parents to join extremist jihadists, telling her mother and father she would see them again on the "day of judgement".

aqsa mahmood

Glaswegian Aqsa Mahmood ran away to Syria

Speaking publicly for the first time, her parents Muzaffar and Khalida Mahmood have told of their heartbreak at hearing she did not intend to return home.

Speaking to American broadcaster CNN, Mr Mahmood wept as he recalled his daughter's words.

"One message was that 'I will see you on the day of judgement. I will take you to heaven, I will hold your hand'. That's what she said. 'I want to become a martyr.'"

In an emotional television appeal, following a statement released in the UK earlier this week, Mrs Mahmood pleaded with her daughter to come back.

"Aqsa - my dear daughter please come back, I'm missing you so much. Your brothers and sisters miss you a lot. My dearest daughter, in the name of Allah, please come home. I love you."

The privately-educated 20-year-old is reported to have encouraged terrorist acts via a Twitter account under the name Umm Layth. The account has since been deleted.

She travelled through Turkey to Aleppo in Syria last year and was reported missing to police.

Women are the new target for recruitment for the Islamic State (IS), with researchers seeing "unprecedented" calls for fighters to marry British and European women.

READ MORE: The Lives Of The British Jihadi Women Who Have Left To Fight With Islamic State

The women, some just teenagers, are bombarding IS fighters with marriage proposals during social media 'Q&As' and researchers estimate as many as 50, most of them British, could have already gone to join fighters in Syria and Iraq.

"Typically, the women who are out there tend to form clusters, they might be married to Isis fighters in the same unit," said Melanie Smith, a research associate at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), King's College, who monitors the recruitment of women by Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS.

Four women from the UK, including Mahmood, have been identified by experts.

Women of Isis