A British mother who took her young son to Syria to join the Islamic State has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Tareena Shakil, 26, was convicted on Friday of encouraging acts of terrorism and of being a member of the extremist group ISIS, the BBC reports.
Shakil took her one-year-old son to Turkey and then on to Syria in October 2014. Only three months later, she fled the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa taking a taxi to the Turkish border and then returning to Britain.
Counter terrorism police arrested her as she arrived at Heathrow Airport in February 2015 and her son was taken into social care.
Shakil denied the charges, insisting that while she wanted to live under Islamic law, she didn’t condone terrorism or encourage others through messages on Twitter. She told jurors they had made a mistake.
However, prosecutors said that photos on her phone showed her posing with a gun and her son wearing a hat with the ISIS logo.
The judge, Mr Justice Inman, said Shakil had shown no remorse and knew her son would grow up to join ISIS.
Briton Tareena Shakil who took her toddler son to Syria jailed for six years for joining so-called Islamic State https://t.co/2D1KCbVNcC
— BBC Breaking News (@bbcnews_ticker) February 1, 2016
According to the BBC, the judge said:
Most alarmingly you took your toddler son to Syria knowing how he would be used – his future would be as an IS fighter. You allowed him to be photographed next to an AK47.
Inman added that Shakil had sent messages back to Britain saying: ‘That it was part of your faith to kill the murtadeen (apostates) and you wanted to die a martyr,’ the Associated Press reports.
The judge said:
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 West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit and other agencies proved Shakil’s membership of ISIS through a number of enquiries.
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) February 1, 2016
West Midlands Police added:
Detectives were able to show Shakil had indeed become a member of the extremist group and was set to become a jihadi bride.
The police claim around 300 Britons are believed to be fighting with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. 56 women and girls were reported missing to the police by their families, all of whom are feared to have travelled to Syria.