‘TOWIE jihadi’, 32, who became first British woman to be jailed in UK for fleeing to join ISIS in Syria with her child claims she was ‘taken advantage of’ and ‘regrets everything’
- Tareena Shakil fled to Middle East in 2014 and was jailed after returning to UK
- Said she ‘regrets every last thing’ and ‘continues to live with the consequences’
- She has admitted to being aware of ISIS atrocities before joining terror group
A young mother who became the first British woman to be jailed for joining ISIS today said she ‘regrets everything’, claiming she was ‘taken advantage of’ by online groomers.
Tareena Shakil was nicknamed the ‘ Towie jihadi’ when it emerged that the fan of reality TV shows such as The Only Way Is Essex had fled to the Middle East in 2014 – despite being aware ISIS was guilty of terrible atrocities.
The 32-year-old, who had a western upbringing listening to the Spice Girls and taking part in talent competitions, was jailed after returning to Britain a year later, with detectives stumped as to how she managed to flee Syria and concluding she still posed a ‘serious risk’.
The mother – who shared photos from Syria of her posing with guns and dressing her baby in an ISIS hat – remains the only woman in Britain to have been imprisoned for joining Islamic State.
In a rare interview since being released in 2018, having served less than half of her six-year sentence and undergoing a deradicalisation programme, Shakil, 32, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I regret every last thing about running away to Syria with my child and I live with those consequences every day.
‘I’ve been educated about things that IS would say that were not true, it’s been a long journey and along the way I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people, including imams in prison and mentors outside.’