Four young British male and female ISIS recruits are excited to begin their new lives in Syria. Jalal and Ziyaad enjoy the male camaraderie as they are trained and equipped for battle, while Shakira and Ushna are taught the strict rules women must obey. They take oaths of allegiance to ISIS, convinced they’ve made the right decision to come, but are soon confronted by the harsh realities of life under ISIS which don’t match their expectations.
The recruits are forced to reflect on their new lives in The State. Jalal and Ziyaad experience bloody frontline battle, while Shakira witnesses the horrifying aftermath of a barrel bomb and Ushna is shocked at the brutal treatment of women. Shakira must persuade a dangerous commander to set aside ISIS rules and allow her to work in hospital and Jalal has a conversation which makes him question the whole rationale for his journey to Syria.
Marriage to a foreign fighter proves challenging for Ushna but she is determined to make it work. Shakira too must marry to continue working, but turns down a proposal from Abu Akram with brutal consequences. Jalal is horrified by the treatment of young Yazidi women being sold as sex slaves and buys a mother and daughter to rescue them. He and Ziyaad are sent back to the frontline where a commander is calling for the ultimate sacrifice.
Jalal is given a new role by ISIS, and witnesses barbaric punishments and mock executions to feed its propaganda machine. With the noose tightening around him, he decides to risk his own safety to help Ibitsam and Narin escape. As Ushna’s commitment deepens, Shakira’s concern that Isaac is being readied for frontline battle makes her contemplate the unthinkable – whether there is any way out of The State.