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British Woman in Prison for Taking Her Baby to Raqqa


Tareena Shakil is seen after her arrest, in this undated booking picture courtesy of West Midlands Police.

Tareena Shakil is seen after her arrest, in this undated booking picture courtesy of West Midlands Police.


A British woman who took her child to Syria and joined the Islamic State has been sentenced to six years in prison.

A British court ruled Tareena Shakil guilty of membership in the Islamic State terror group. It also convicted her of encouraging acts of terrorism.

In October 2014, she and her 1-year-old son flew to Turkey. She told her family she was going on a beach vacation. She crossed the border into Syria and went to Raqqa, a city that IS controls.

Three months later, she fled the terror group. She turned herself in to the Turkish military. She was returned to Britain and arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport in February 2015.

Shakil denied that she joined the Islamist group. She said she wanted to live under Islamic law and did not support terrorism.

But prosecutors said photographs on her phone showed her holding weapons. They said the pictures also showed her son wearing a hat with an Islamic State symbol.

Judge Melbourne Inman sentenced Shakil. He told her, “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.''

I’m Kathleen Struck.

VOANews.com reported this story. Kathleen Struck adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

encouraging – v. to give someone support

prosecutor – n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty

symbol – n. an action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality

indoctrination – n. the act of teaching someone to fully accept the ideas, opinions, and beliefs of a particular group and to not consider other ideas, opinions, and beliefs

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