IS Commander Who Helped British Girls In Syria

A senior female commander from Islamic State has told Sky News she has no doubt that three London teenagers who crossed into Syria in February were groomed by a team of social media experts in Raqqa.

The woman, who calls herself Um Asmah and who defected from IS just days ago, was the first person to contact foreign girls crossing the border.

Her job was to introduce the new recruits to life under Islamic State's strict and brutal regime.

In her first interview, she says she was surprised by how young and naive Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase were.

The 22-year-old says it was clear that while the girls were happy, they were unprepared for living life permanently veiled.

One of the girls revealed her face to a driver and was immediately reprimanded and lectured on etiquette.

Um Asmah, whose relatives are senior IS commanders, says she delivered the girls to a base in Raqqa where they are now undergoing a four-month training regime for "special missions".

Foreign fighters are taught to fight and oversee missions in Syria and Iraq - but with a specific plan, now revealed for the first time, to travel back to Europe and carry out attacks there.

Speaking in a secret location in Turkey, she says it is possible fighters are already being trained in Europe, but she confirmed most of the training was in Syria.

She says she is unsure where the girls are now, but doubts they have been married off to IS fighters "unless they wanted to".

Asked if the girls will be allowed to return home, she said they will "never" go home and are more likely to "die in Iraq or Syria".

Sky News has obtained exclusive pictures inside the headquarters of the IS propaganda and grooming machine - an internet cafe where IS foreign fighters work shifts coordinated to timezones around the world where they have influence over specific nationalities.

Um Asmah says IS has a well-structured grooming system that can psychologically target vulnerable youngsters like the three British girls.

"IS is not stupid, they have educated people who know how to deal with (the) psychology of others, how to deal with the human being. All these are in IS," she said.

"They have ways to attract people - especially foreigners. Otherwise young British people wouldn't come and say they will change the flag on Buckingham Palace.

"IS have the ability to manipulate the minds of young people. If they can convince foreigners, it is even easier to convince Arabs and Syrians.

"They have freedom and everything is available - they have no need to come to Syria but they do."

The woman says the girls are special to IS, but are not stars as they have plenty more girls from around the world - with more joining every month.

Now on the run, Um Asmah draws an imaginary cut across her throat when I asked her if she can ever return.

She says she lives in fear of IS tracking her down, adding: "I am a traitor and an unbeliever now. I am scared every day, every minute and of everyone I meet.

"I am a young girl. I want to live my life, I want to travel, go to cafes, meet friends like any normal girl."

The fate of the three London girls has already been decided by the terror group, she says: "Everything is already decided for you and you cannot evade it or refuse it.

"You cannot have a mind of your own, you have to follow their orders."