Women's Health

Towie-obsessed mother jailed for traveling to Syria to join ISIS rebrands herself as an influencer

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A British mother who was jailed after traveling to Syria to join ISIS before posing with guns has now rebranded herself as an Instagram fashion influencer.

Tareena Shakil, nicknamed the ‘Towie jihadi’ because of her love of reality TV shows, became the first British woman to be jailed for joining Islamic State after returning to the UK a year after leaving for Syria in 2014.

She had a Western upbringing listening to the Spice Girls and competing in talent shows, but made the trip despite the fact that ISIS was guilty of terrible atrocities.

Ms Shakil later claimed she ‘regrets everything’ and has been ‘exploited’ by online groomers.

She was jailed for six years after returning to the UK after detectives concluded she still posed a serious risk, with photos on her phone showing her posing with guns and dressing her baby in a hat ISIS.

Tareena Shakil became the first British woman to be imprisoned for joining Islamic State after returning to the UK a year after leaving for Syria in 2014

Tareena Shakil became the first British woman to be imprisoned for joining Islamic State after returning to the UK a year after leaving for Syria in 2014

Shakil, (pictured) from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, was pictured in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, with her son, and posing with an AK-47

Shakil, (pictured) from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, was pictured in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, with her son, and posing with an AK-47

Shakil, (pictured) from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, was pictured in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, with her son, and posing with an AK-47

Ms Shakil later claimed that she

Ms Shakil later claimed that she

Ms Shakil later claimed she ‘regrets everything’ and has been ‘exploited’ by groomers online

Now, however, Ms Shakil has gained hundreds of Instagram followers after touting herself as a fashion guru, reports The Mirror.

The account, named That girl Tam Tam, regularly posts selfies with the hashtags ‘fashion blogger’, ‘style inspiration’ and ‘London Fashion’.

The majority of his snaps are taken in the UK, but photos have also been shared on the Milan and Barcelona account over the past year.

In a selfie, the caption reads: “She’s a bad girl, she’s not average.”

In a second, she wrote, “You can go against me, my G, don’t hesitate, but it wouldn’t be good for your self-esteem.”

She said: “I learned from my mistakes and served my time.

“I’m not looking to be an influencer or a blogger, I’m looking to show people that you can get through tough 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 account, named That girl Tam Tam, regularly posts selfies with the hashtags 'fashion blogger', 'style inspiration' and 'London Fashion'.

The account, named That girl Tam Tam, regularly posts selfies with the hashtags ‘fashion blogger’, ‘style inspiration’ and ‘London Fashion’.

The majority of his snaps are taken in the UK, but photos have also been shared on the Milan and Barcelona account over the past year.

The majority of his snaps are taken in the UK, but photos have also been shared on the Milan and Barcelona account over the past year.

The majority of his snaps are taken in the UK, but photos have also been shared on the Milan and Barcelona account over the past year.

Tareena Shakil was dubbed the 'Towie jihadi' when it emerged the fan of reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex fled to the Middle East in 2014

Tareena Shakil was dubbed the 'Towie jihadi' when it emerged the fan of reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex fled to the Middle East in 2014

Tareena Shakil was dubbed the ‘Towie jihadi’ when it emerged the fan of reality shows such as The Only Way Is Essex 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

A deleted image recovered from a phone allegedly used by Ms Shakil showing her posing with an AK47 assault rifle

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 beach holiday in Turkey.

But using her student loan to fund the trip, she instead crossed the Syrian border and headed for Raqqa, an Islamic State stronghold in Syria.

She was photographed in Syria wearing an Isis balaclava, 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 at Heathrow Airport on a flight from Turkey.

She told police and jurors during her trial in 2016 that she was kidnapped and forced to pose by Isis.

But Judge Melbourne Inman described her defense as “lie after lie” and said she had “embraced IS” and was “willing to become a martyr”.

Detectives believe she married 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 couple boarded a flight to Turkey en route to Syria

Ms Shakil seen on CCTV at East Midlands Airport with her toddler before the couple boarded a flight to Turkey en route to Syria

Ms Shakil seen on CCTV at East Midlands Airport with her toddler before the couple boarded a flight to Turkey en route to Syria

She was then imprisoned for six years after being found guilty of being a member of IS and encouraging terrorism.

Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Inman said: ‘Most alarming is that you took your infant son to Syria knowing how he would be used.

Although he said it was clear she had been ‘radicalized’, she showed no remorse and actively ’embraced Isis’, knowing her son’s future would be as a fighter for the band.

She was released after serving less than half her sentence in 2018 after completing a de-radicalization programme.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today program in December 2021: ‘I regret to the end that I fled to Syria with my child and I live with those consequences every day.

“I was educated on things that ISIS would say that are not true, it was a long journey and along the way I had many conversations with many different people including imams in prison and mentors outside.”

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