English mum who joined Isil jailed for six years
A judge sentenced a British woman yesterday to six years in prison for going to Syria to live under the rule of the Isil militant group.
Tareena Shakil (26) was convicted last week of being a member of the group and encouraging acts of terrorism.
In October 2014 she and her one-year-old son boarded a plane to Turkey and then travelled to Syria.
After three months in Syria Shakil fled, taking a taxi from the Isil stronghold of Raqqa to the Turkish border and then returning to Britain.
She was arrested at Heathrow Airport in February 2015 and her son has since been taken into social care.
Shakil, from Birmingham denied the charges, claiming she wanted to live under strict Islamic law, not support terrorism and telling jurors she had made a mistake.
But prosecutors said photos on her phone showed her posing with a firearm and her son wearing a hat with the Isil logo.
Judge Melbourne Inman said Shakil had embraced Isil and sent messages home saying "that it was part of your faith to kill the murtadeen (apostates) and ... you wanted to die a martyr."
"You were well aware that the future which you had subjected your son to was very likely to be indoctrination and thereafter life as a terrorist fighter," the judge said.
During her two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the jury were shown tweets, messages and photographs from her, including images of the black flag of Isil and passages calling on people to "take up arms", and stating her wish to become a "martyr".
The jury heard Shakil, formerly of Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, told her family she was going to Turkey for a beach holiday with her young son but secretly travelled across the border into Syria after wishing to live under sharia law. She told the court she returned to the UK in February last year after realising she had "made a mistake" and was arrested at Heathrow Airport.
Shakil was also found guilty of encouraging acts of terrorism through messages posted on Twitter.