The Iraqi housewife who cooked the heads of ISIS fighters

So we checked. Among many pictures of her with her dead husbands, fighters and generals, there was a photo of her in the same black combat fatigues and headscarf holding what appeared to be a freshly severed head. Another showed two severed heads in a cooking pot. In a third photograph, she is standing among partially-burned corpses. It’s impossible to verify whether the photos are authentic or Photoshopped, but we got the point.

Um Hanadi describes herself as a “rabat manzal” — a housewife. She denied media reports she was a hairdresser, although a photo on her Facebook page shows her without a headscarf, in what appears to be a hair salon. She has two daughters, aged 22 and 20. They are trained and ready to fight, she says, but are busy at the moment taking care of their children.

When we finished the interview, Um Hanadi’s entourage prepared to board their pickup trucks. I walked up to one of the trucks, where three men sat in the front seat. One pulled out a hand grenade.

“This is for Daesh,” he said, using the derogatory term for ISIS.