British twins who fled to Syria to join Islamic State are now believed to be on the run from the terror group and may be trying to return home.
The Sun reports that Somali-born Zahra and Salma Halane, both 17, told their father “everything has changed” after their jihadist husbands were killed in December.
The twins disappeared from their family home in Chorlton, Manchester last July. They had achieved high grades at school and were hoping to become doctors before fleeing. Police believe they were radicalised by their brother Ahmed.
A source close to the family told the newspaper: “The girls say they are not happy there anymore. Their dad said he is expecting good news very soon.
“He understands police will want to speak to them, but they have not been fighting.”
One member of Manchester’s Somali community also told the Daily Mail: “The family are extremely positive the twins are trying to get home… we are praying they come back safely.”
Meanwhile, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute, Raffaello Pantucci, said that if the girls are caught, they may face execution: “If you look on past form, [ISIS] have jailed people… or they’ve simply executed them.
“They’ve quite publicly executed people who they say were trying to defect or became spies in some way and they’ve punished them with death.
“I can’t think of cases where they have executed jihadi brides but it’s possible they could execute them too.
“What we don’t know is what they’re being accused of or why they ran away at the moment, whether it’s apostasy, abandonment, or adultery from their husbands, it’s difficult to know exactly what is happening.”
Initially, it was believed that the girls on the run were Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, who fled their homes in London earlier this year, but a lawyer for their families said they remain in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State.
A Foreign Office spokesman said the government was investigating reports the twins may have fled: “We are aware of reports and are looking into them.”