First British woman found guilty of joining Islamic State


by Ellie Henman |
Published on

A British mother, who left the UK to join IS in Syria, has been found guilty of joining the terrorist group. Tareena Shakil took her baby son to the war-torn country in October 2014 but later returned to Britain.

When Shakil, 26, was arrested she denied charges of joining the so-called Islamic State and encouraging acts on terrorism online. But yesterday, after a two week trial, she was found guilty.

In messages posted online, Shakil was accused of inciting acts of terrorism – calling her followers to “take up arms” and declaring she wanted to be a “martyr”.

Pictures from her time in Syria show Shakil posing with a gun. In another she is seen holding her young son who is wearing a hat bearing the sign of IS.

“Our assessment is that she was not naive; 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 [IS] in Syria,” Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said.

“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.”

Speaking of the danger Shakil posed to the UK, Assistant Chief Constable Beale added: “She no doubt presented a real threat on her return to the UK from the country early last year”.

Shakil will be sentenced on Monday.

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