The News Minute | December 3, 2014 | 15. 36 pm IST
The Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria may be demonised by the world community for their terrorist activities but there are those who look up to them.
Some among the admirers of the IS happen to be European women who have flocked to the war zone in the hope of becoming "jihadi brides", the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday, citing the findings of new research.
Academic experts monitoring the lawless region have identified at least 11 women linked to the fighters.
What is worse, British women are suspected of running sex slave brothels for the IS fighters in Syria.
Hundreds of women belonging to the Kurdish religious minority have been kidnapped, tortured and raped by the IS fighters, the Daily Mail report said.
Still, there is growing evidence of British women being drawn to the region to support the militants.
Melanie Smith, of the King's College International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said that there are "hundreds" of girls who want to travel across Europe to Syria.
"Hundreds. I come across girls every day who say, 'I'm so desperate to go over there, but it's just so hard for me'," Smith said.
However, she said that only a "tiny" proportion of girls actually make it to the war-torn region.
Smith said that there is even a "jihad matchmaker" service on Twitter in which women can post their photographs for the men to choose from.
Among those who had travelled from Britain are Manchester twins Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, who fled their home in the middle of the night in June.
Many women are apparently lured to Syria by the prolific online activities of the fighters who present a "romantic" image of the bloodshed.
They exchange messages, which often include marriage proposals, before travelling to Syria.
Once in the country, they have to adhere to the rules of the sharia law, which include wearing of the niqab (veil), and also find themselves cooking and cleaning.
She said that the reason for the women wanting to join the IS could be that they are bored with their lives and feel a sense of community and freedom under the IS.