I was on the wrong path, woman who joined IS tells documentary

·2-min read

The first woman found guilty in the UK of joining so-called Islamic State has said she should have gone on holiday to Turkey instead.

Tareena Shakil made the admission in a new documentary for ITV called Tareena: Return From Isis.

Shakil joined IS after travelling to Syria in 2014 with her son.

She returned to the UK in 2015 and faced prosecution.

Shakil described this photo of herself as showing someone who had ‘lost her way in life’ (PA)
Shakil described this photo of herself as showing someone who had ‘lost her way in life’ (PA)

She was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016.

She told the programme that if she could go back in time she would go to Turkey instead of IS’s stronghold in Raqqa, Syria.

“If I could go back I would have come back,” she said.

“I would have gone to Turkey on holiday and I would have come back.

“That’s what should have happened, gone on holiday for a week and come back.”

The documentary, filmed over three years, says Shakil was groomed at the hands of a recruiter.

At one point during the documentary, Shakil was confronted with a photo of herself holding an AK47.

“That’s someone who’s just lost her way in life, found a very wrong path,” she said.

She said she was aware of the violence being committed by IS because “it was everywhere”.

Tareena Shakil court case
Tareena Shakil was jailed in 2016 for six years (West Midlands Police/PA)

She said: I was aware of the violence that had taken place at the hands of Isis, you know I can’t lie and say that I didn’t because it was everywhere.

“You know, being aware of horrific things that were happening in that place and still deciding to run away, not just on your own, with your child, I understand that that is hard for people to understand.”

She added that she did not pay much attention to the violence at the time.

“And to just say that you didn’t pay that much attention to it, but that’s what it was, I just, I didn’t,” she said.

“It’s not something that I’m happy about now looking back, but at the time the only thing I can say is that, you know, I was far from the best version of myself.”

Tareena: Return From Isis is available now on ITV Hub.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting