Birmingham Mum Jailed For Taking Toddler To Syria
1 February 2016, 12:42
A Birmingham woman who took her toddler to Syria to join Islamic State has been jailed for six years.
Tareena Shakil who's the first British woman to be found guilty of the charge, travelled to the country in 2014 after telling her family she was going on holiday to Turkey.
The court heard the 26 year-old from Sparkbrook, posed her child for photos while the toddler was wearing an IS-branded balaclava.
The judge told Shakil it was clear she had been ``radicalised'' following online conversations with prominent members of the terrorist group, including Fabio Pocas.
He said: ``You had followed tweets and other statements from radical preachers and terrorists and formed your views from those and from discussions you had with a known terrorist, and who you described as being involved in the training of terrorist fighters for Isis.''
``You told lie after lie to the police and in court between February and November 2015, including that you were kidnapped, were not responsible for any tweets and any incriminating photographs were staged against your will.
``You pleaded not guilty and told more lies to the jury which they have understandably rejected.''
The judge described Shakil's decision to involve her young son, 14 months old at the time of travel, as a serious aggravating factor.
``Most alarming, however, is the fact that you took your son and how he was used,'' he said.
``The most abhorrent photographs, however, were those taken of your son wearing a balaclava with an Isis logo and specifically the photograph of your son, no more than a toddler, standing next to an AK47 under a title which, translated from the Arabic, means 'father of the British jihad'.''
Shakil had also encouraged other women to join her in Raqqa.
The judge said: ``Your role as a woman in Isis was different to that of a man but you embraced it and were willing to support those in Raqqa and potentially those outside to come and play their role in providing fighters of the future and were willing shamelessly to allow your son to be photographed in terms that could only be taken as a fighter of the future.''
At trial, her defence barrister said the breakdown of her marriage had made her ``vulnerable'' to targeted recruitment by IS, but that did not make her a member.
Shakil, of Beechfield Road in Birmingham but formerly of Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire, told her father three weeks before her escape: ``I can leave but I don't want (to). I want to die here as a martyr.''
Nevertheless, she escaped IS territory, telling jurors she realised she had ``made a mistake''.
Her dad, Mohammed Shakil told us the family will appeal the sentence as she was a 'victim' of Islamic State and should've been treated like one.
Sentencing the former college student, Judge Melbourne Inman said: `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.''
The Recorder of Birmingham added: ``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.''