Tareena Shakil, a mother who secretly took her toddler son to Syria, was sentenced to six years imprisonment. The young mother intended for her son be recruited by ISIS. The woman insists she was brainwashed by the members of the terror organization.
Twenty-six-year-old Tareena Shakil, who took her young son to Syria, will soon begin a six-year jail sentence. The judge presiding over the case concluded she had clearly “embraced” the Islamic State and its brutal methodologies. He noted she seemed prepared to let her child become an ISIS fighter. The judge found her guilty of being a member of ISIS and encouraging acts of terrorism. He also found her actions involving her one-year-old son, “deeply disturbing”.
Shakil was also found guilty of encouraging terrorism via her Twitter account. She even forced her son to wear a balaclava with IS symbols emblazoned on it. Her social media accounts had numerous images and content that encouraged terrorism and similar activities. A few photos had her posing with rifles too, reported International Business Times.
How did Tareena Shakil end up in the hands of the British? Shakil insists she had been meticulously groomed by members of ISIS. Judge Melbourne Inman, who sentenced her to six years imprisonment, noted:
“You embraced Isis, you sent messages on the day of your arrival in Syria that you were not coming back, and by October 28, you were sending a message to your brother-in-law that it was part of your faith to kill the murtadeen (apostates), and on December 9 you told your father 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 added that it was clear Shakil had been “radicalized” following online conversations with prominent members of the terrorist group, including Fabio Pocas, reported The Daily Mail.
In October 2014, she and her one-year-old son boarded a plane to Turkey and then travelled to Syria, reported Toronto Sun. Within a mere three months, Shakil claims, she became acutely aware of her mistake. The woman, fortunately with her toddler, managed to escape the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa to the Turkish border and returned to Britain. She was promptly arrested at Heathrow Airport in February 2015. To avoid any more danger, the child has been placed into social care.
Despite taking her toddler son into the heart of terrorism without any assistance from ISIS, Tareena Shakil insisted she is innocent. Strongly denying the charges, she said she merely wanted to live under strict Islamic law. Shakil further added that she wanted to escape from an “unhappy family life.”
Initially Tareena Shakil claimed she had been kidnapped but later admitted this was a lie. Refusing to believe Shakil was a victim, Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, who leads on counter-terrorism across the West Midlands, said:
“Tareena Shakil had self-radicalized by viewing extremist material on the internet, before leaving the UK in October 2014. Our assessment is that she was not naïve; she had absolutely clear intentions when she left the UK, sending tweets encouraging the public to commit acts of terrorism here and then taking her young child to join Daesh in Syria. Photographs seized from her phone showed Ms. Shakil posing with a firearm and wearing a Daesh balaclava. Another showed a rucksack with a Daesh logo and person holding a handgun. These were taken while she was in Syria.”
Beale went to add that the law is convinced that she now presents a threat to the country:
“Ms. Shakil had already incited others to commit terrorist acts on social media and having spent months living under Daesh, she no doubt presented a real threat on her return to the UK from the country early last year.”
[Photo by West Midlands Police]