Islamic State Said to Form 2 All-women Police Brigades

Brigades are reportedly tasked with spotting disguised male activists and ensuring that women follow modesty rules.

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A women wearing a niqab in Paris.
A women wearing a niqab in Paris. Credit: AFP

Islamic State, which is fighting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, has formed two women's police brigades to enforce a strict reading of Islamic law, a media report says.

The U.K. Independent reported that the two brigades are designed to spot male activists who disguise themselves as women to avoid being detained at checkpoints; and to ensure that women follow the rules, including fully covering themselves and being chaperoned by males.

One of the brigades, al-Khansaa, operates in Raqqa, the Syrian headquarters city for IS, the Independent reported. The paper said that as many as 60 British women may have joined al-Khansaa.

And the paper cited the U.K.-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation as saying that a key member of the women's police force is Aqsa Mahmood, 20, of Glasgow, who went to Syria in November 2013.

Last week, her parents pleaded with her to return home, saying she'd been brainwashed, the paper reported.

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