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The woman dubbed “Towie Jihadi” has told how she “regrets everything”, seven years after fleeing the UK to join the ISIS terror group.
Tareen Shakil left the UK, aged 24, with her young son, and was given a six-year prison sentence in 2016 when she escaped from the group and returned to her home country.
The 32-year-old was also known for her love of The Only Way Is Essex.
At the time of her arrest, she told police she she never intended to join the terrorist organisation, but during her her court case, evidence of messages exchanged with extremists were show, as well as disturbing terror-related Twitter rants.
She also posted photos, while in Syria, of her son, then aged just one, posing next to an AK47 gun.
And now she's told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she was “taken advantage of” – becoming the first British returnee to tell their story.
She said: “I regret every last thing in terms of my decision to run away to Syria with my child – I live with the consequences every day.
“It’s (being groomed) not something that you’re aware of at the precise moment that you’re being recruited.
“You're not aware that at this precise moment I’m vulnerable.
“That awareness comes after, and it came after for me.
“I remember feeling really sad and bitter, taken advantage of, duped – I remember feeling really ashamed of myself to some degree that I had allowed it to happen.
Birmingham-based Shakil, who was born in Burton and originally fled to Turkey before going on to Syria, also recalled how you “don't cause any trouble” while you're with the group, as a pair of “unruly” girls were once bundled into a van and “were never seen again”.
She now claims to be “full de-radicalised”, and is focusing on having a normal life having been released from prison in 2019 after serving just half of her time.
She added: “It’s been seven years since I ran away, I’ve done three years in prison, I’ve done three years outside.
“I’ve done everything that’s asked of me and built a normal life for myself.
“I work, nothing bad has happened – I don’t have any intention to do anything other than get on with my life.”
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