From ISIS to Instagram: Towie-obsessed Brit mother who was jailed for travelling to Syria to join Islamic terror fanatics rebrands herself as Instagram fashion influencer
- Tareena Shakil was dubbed the ‘Towie jihadi’ due to her love of reality TV shows
- She was jailed for six years after travelling to Syria before returning to the UK
A British mother who was jailed after travelling to Syria to join ISIS before posing with guns has now rebranded herself as an Instagram fashion influencer.
Tareena Shakil, who was dubbed the ‘Towie jihadi’ due to her love of reality TV shows, became the first British woman to be jailed for joining ISIS after returning to the UK a year after leaving for Syria in 2014.
She had a western upbringing listening to the Spice Girls and taking part in talent competitions, but made the journey despite being aware ISIS was guilty of terrible atrocities.
Ms Shakil subsequently claimed she ‘regretted everything’ and was ‘taken advantage of’ by online groomers.
She was jailed for six years following her return to the UK after detectives concluded she still posed a serious risk, with pictures on her phone showing her posing with guns and dressing her baby in an ISIS hat.
Tareena Shakil became the first British woman to be jailed for joining ISIS after returning to the UK a year after leaving for Syria in 2014
Shakil, (pictured) from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, was photographed in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, along with her son, and posing with an AK-47
Ms Shakil subsequently claimed she ‘regretted everything’ and was ‘taken advantage of’ by online groomers
Now, though, Ms Shakil has gained hundreds of followers on Instagram after styling herself as a fashion guru, The Mirror reports.
The account, named That girl Tam Tam, regularly posts selfies with the hashtags ‘fashion blogger’, ‘style inspiration’ and ‘London Fashion’.
The majority of her snaps are taken in the UK, but pictures have also been shared on the account from Milan and Barcelona within the last year.
In one selfie, the caption reads: ‘She a bad b***h, she ain’t average’.
In a second, she wrote: ‘You can go against me my G feel free, but that wouldn’t be good for your self esteem.’
She said: ‘I’ve learned from my mistakes and have served my punishment.
‘I don’t seek to be an influencer or blogger, I seek to show people you can make it through hard times even when it may seem impossible.’
The account, named That girl Tam Tam, regularly posts selfies with the hashtags ‘fashion blogger’, ‘style inspiration’ and ‘London Fashion’
The majority of her snaps are taken in the UK, but pictures have also been shared on the account from Milan and Barcelona within the last year
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
A deleted image recovered from a phone allegedly used by Ms Shakil showing her posing with an AK47 assault rifle
Ms Shakil, a former healthcare worker, was 26 when she told her family she was taking her son on a Turkish beach holiday.
But using her student loan to fund the trip, she instead crossed the border into Syria and headed for Raqqa, a stronghold of Islamic State in Syria.
She was photographed in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, along with her son, and posing with an AK-47. She also used Twitter rants to encourage others to join the fight.
But Ms Shakil fled the country in 2015 and was arrested as she landed back at Heathrow Airport via a flight from Turkey.
She told police and jurors at her trial in 2016 that she had been kidnapped and forced to pose by Isis.
But Judge Melbourne Inman described her defence as ‘lie after lie’, and said she had ’embraced IS’ and was ‘willing to become a martyr’.
Detectives believe she wed an IS fighter in Syria, but the marriage quickly turned sour.
Ms Shakil seen on CCTV at East Midlands Airport with her toddler before the pair boarded a flight to Turkey en route to Syria
She was later jailed for six years after being convicted of being a member of IS and encouraging terrorism.
Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Inman said: ‘Most alarmingly, you took your toddler son to Syria knowing how he would be used.’
Though he said it was clear that she had been ‘radicalised’, she had shown no remorse and had actively ‘embraced Isis’ knowing her son’s future would be as a fighter for the group.
She was released having served less than half her sentence in 2018 after undergoing a deradicalisation programme.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in December 2021: ‘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.’
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