Family of woman ‘brainwashed’ into ISIS beg UK to let her back after she lost arm in drone strike

The family of a woman who joined say that she was tricked into thinking she’d be helping refugees and left mutilated by a drone strike.

Samia Hussein from Southall, West , lost her left arm and half her breast in what is thought to have been a British or American attack on a town under the terrorists’ control.

The former student was discovered alongside other UK citizens when the jihadists’ last-remaining stronghold of Baghouz fell in March. 

She is believed to be at the al-Hol camp, which is run by Kurdish forces in northern Syria, and while there called her family to tell her jihadists had kidnapped her.

A close relative says that the family are worried about her health, telling she fears that she’ll never be let back into the UK. 

‘We need the Government to help her,’ she said. ‘She’s British, she was born here and has a British passport and we want her to come back to this country.’

The camp also holds Shamima Begum, who left Bethnal Green in East London to join Islamic State when she was 15. 

The family of Miss Hussein, who is now 25, say she was duped to stop studying and go to a camp in 2015 while living in Kenya. 

Five years ago, she left the UK to study A-Levels in Nairobi and hoped to head to the capital’s United States International University – Africa to complete a degree. 

Her family says that she was groomed and ‘brainwashed’ into believing she’d be helping ‘children in need’ but found herself trapped in the Caliphate. 

A relative told the paper that somebody influenced her in Nairobi, telling her that she’d be carrying out aid work. 

She disappeared in autumn 2015 and one week later sent a text to her mother, Luul Hussein Tarambi, saying she was being held against her will and needed to get out.  

In her text she told them that she ‘had been brainwashed and said she needed help’, the relative said.   

Three-and-a-half years later Miss Hussein’s family received a phone call from her while she was in the refugee camp.  

Her relative claims that she told them over a borrowed phone that Islamic State had kidnapped her and held her hostage. The relative says that Miss Hussein is ‘not loyal’ to the terror group and ‘wants nothing to do with them at all’. 

It was during that call on an apparently borrowed phone that she revealed her injuries from the air strike. 

She did not offer too many details about her situation for fear that the call was being monitored, the relative said, adding that Miss Hussein was scared of people in the camp who are still loyal to the terrorists.  

One of her sisters, Asha Hussein, described her sibling as a ‘bright girl’ who was ‘really happy’.

She said that her sister wanted to become a journalist and that there was no sign of Samia being radicalised before she disappeared. 

The family has appealed for help from the Foreign Office, which says that it will nor comment on individual cases.

The Foreign Office does not have a consular presence in Syria, meaning it may not be able to offer assistance.  

Kenyan authorities say there has been a trend in university students being recruited through Islamic State’s social media.

The European Institute of Peace last year said that people had been recruited in Kenya.

They were sent from the country to war-torn regions in Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.