Mother who wanted her children to live under Islamic State control jailed


A British-born mother of two who tried to take her children to Syria to live under Islamic State control has been jailed for more than five years.

The woman, 34, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wished to live under strict Sharia law and believed such a regime could only be found where IS imposed control, Leeds Crown Court heard.

She abducted her children in October last year with the intention of travelling to Raqqa but was stopped by Turkish authorities in Istanbul and returned to the UK after her husband and parents contacted police.

She earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of child abduction, relating to her children, who were both aged under 16.

Sentencing the woman to five years and four months in jail, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said: "You were determined to take them to Raqqa in Syria.

"Raqqa is, and was in October 2015, the epicentre of a war zone. Further, it was, and presently remains, under the control of IS.

"It is said on your behalf that you do not support much of what IS do. It is not easy to reconcile this submission with the assertion that you believe that Sharia law is only enforced properly by IS.

"In any event, the nature of the regime imposed by IS in Syria is clear. It is beyond dispute that IS enforce their will by the use of extreme force. Such force routinely includes mutilation, rape and murder. You are an intelligent and well-educated woman, you knew this.

"The fate of your children would have been either to have subscribed, fully and actively, as we have all seen in the appalling use of a young child in an IS propaganda video in recent days, to such behaviour, or to have suffered it themselves."