A British Muslim woman who took her 14-month-old baby to Syria was Friday found guilty of being a member of Islamic State (ISIS), becoming the first UK woman to be convicted after returning from the strife-torn country.
Tareena Shakil, 26, had told the court that she was not aware of the evil associated with ISIS and simply wanted to live under Sharia law.
But at the end of a two-week trial in Birmingham Crown Court, the jury concluded that she was guilty of terrorism related activity.
“ISIS is a dangerous organisation and, at the moment, she should be treated as a dangerous individual,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said.
The jury was shown her tweets, messages and photographs, including images of the black flag of ISIS and passages calling on people to “take up arms”.
Shakil dressed up her toddler son for pictures wearing an ISIS-branded balaclava after secretly running away to Syria in October 2014.
She told her family she was going on a package holiday to Turkey and instead travelled to Syria, where she remained for several months.
Her defence team claimed she had been “groomed” by ISIS recruiters who had preyed on her vulnerability following the collapse of her marriage.
She described in detail her days in Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS in Syria in court.
She claims to have become disillusioned and frightened and on January 6 this year she left with her child and bribed a taxi driver USD 50 to take her to the border.
Shakil flew back into the UK and was arrested by British police at Heathrow airport in early February.