London, Sept 28: Three women, believed to be British, have been using social media to lure Muslims in western countries to join the dreaded Islamic State militant group in Libya, according to a UK-based think-tank.
The women, who have been monitored for months by UK-based think-tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), claims to be living in war-torn Libya since around May this year.
Using a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter and encrypted messaging apps such as Surespot and Telegram, the three have reached out to their hundreds of followers, the Guardian reported.
As routes into Syria via its 500-mile border with Turkey have become further restricted, the women have advertised the journey to Libya as the easiest way of joining the IS.
"Where we see movements of women migrating, that represents the organisation (ISIS) trying to consolidate their territory and state-build rather than just fight and conquer territory. (And) the more that you consolidate that territory, the more you populate that territory, the more difficult it is for that to change," said Melanie Smith, a ISD researcher.
While none of the now-suspended social media accounts made any explicit mention of a previous existence in the UK, Smith said other pieces of evidence pointed towards British associations.
"The type of colloquialisms they use are quite common among the other British women we follow who are in Syria and Iraq; very similar language, very similar slang, and references," she added.
One of the women calling herself Umm (sister) Unknown wrote: "Come to Libya. Hijra (religious migration) is not only to Shaam (Syria) now. Libya needs you too." Umm Unknown's Twitter account was operational for nearly two years before being suspended.
She stated she arrived in Libya on June 19, 2015, posted links to various events in Libya, and had connections with one verified English-speaking fighter in Libya and the two other native English-speaking women also understood to be in the country.
A second extremist going under the name Umm Asiyah, questioned via Ask.fm, an online question forum, why she had gone to Libya, replied: "To live under the Shariah (law) of Allah."
The third radical, Umm Musab, said she had arrived in Libya as early as May 2015, telling her followers to "Come to the land where no man will ever see your face". Commenting on life in Libya she replied: "It's mind bogglingly great."