A judge recently sentenced Tareena Shakil, an ISIS recruit, to six years in prison for joining the Islamic State militant group. Shakil is the first British woman to join ISIS and return to the U.K. and be convicted for being a member of the group and encouraging acts of terrorism, CBS News reports.
Shakil decided in October 2014, along with her young son, to join the ranks of the Islamic State in the main stronghold of the terrorist group in Syria, the city of Raqqa. However, she later escaped from the extremist group after refusing to become a jihadi bride.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, once in Syria, she soon realized she had fallen victim to “false propaganda.”
“They tried to force her to marry a man and when she refused he attacked her,” a friend of Shakil was quoted as saying. “She decided she couldn’t take it any more, broke into a property and stole her passport. The border guards didn’t fire for some reason – maybe because she was carrying her son. Her hands were hurt and her feet cut to ribbons climbing the fence.”
Shakil and her son were lucky to escape with their lives because the terror group usually executes foreign fighters for wanting to quit jihad and leave Syria.
Speaking with the Sun, Shakil’s parents say the 27-year-old was secretly radicalized online in just four months.
Her father, Mohammed, gave the following statement regarding the radicalization of his daughter.
“I had no idea. My little grandson shouldn’t be going through this,” he said. “She thinks they are safe there but they are not. She said before she left that IS would provide housing and social security. But what Islamic State has done is illegal and the owners of the land will come back one day. I just want them to come home.”
She reportedly posted photos to social media networks of her and her young son posing with an AK-47 rifle and claimed that the baby had learned to say “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”).
On January 7 of last year, Tareena Shakil sent a message via WhatsApp, in which she said she was “coming home” and was in Turkey. She was arrested by British police at London’s Heathrow Airport last February after arriving back on a flight from Turkey.
On the first day of the trial in Birmingham, jurors heard different messages that the former university student sent to friends and family in the UK regarding her experience as an ISIS jihadist.
In one message to her father who was back in England, she wrote, “I can leave, but I don’t want to. I want to die here as a martyr,” before adding that “there are too many blessings dying as a martyr. If you don’t love ISIS I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
Prosecutors also alleged that Tareena was married or willing to marry a terrorist of the Islamic State during her stay in Syria. She was also accused of using social media to incite terrorist acts. Shakil insists that she only took her son to Syria to escape an “unhappy family life,” and she said she “left to build us all a house in heaven, Allah promised us heaven if we sacrifice our worldly life. I’m not coming back.”
During her sentencing, the judge in the case said she had shown no remorse and had known her son’s future would ultimately be “as an IS fighter.”
“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,” he said. “You allowed him to be photographed next to an AK47.”
[Image via Twitter]