'Sister-in-law' of Jihadi Sid jailed for trying to take her children to Syria


The suspected sister-in-law of the man thought to be the new Jihadi John has been jailed for trying to take her children to Syria.

Mother Zahera Tariq was handed a three-year jail term after being convicted of four counts of abduction by a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Tariq, 33, is believed to be related through her sister to Siddhartha Dhar, also known as Jihadi Sid, the Londoner suspected of being an Islamic State (IS) leader in Syria.

Tariq and her children, aged five to 12, travelled to Amsterdam while her husband was at work, the trial heard.

The family then went to Turkey and were detained three days later, on August 29 last year, in Kilis, Turkey, close to Syrian territory held by IS.

Tariq, from Edmonton in north London, said her sister Aisha went to Syria with her children in 2014 to join her husband, believed to be Dhar.

The defendant said she took her four children because she thought her sister, the children's aunt, "would see them and her heart would melt".

She said she had a "close" relationship with her younger sibling and added: "We had gone through some beautiful times with our children."

The British national, who was born in London, married her husband, also her first cousin, in 2000 in Pakistan where their family is originally from.

Their three sons suffered from various medical conditions, including severe asthma and hereditary eye problems.

She insisted she had discussed her plans with her husband but he had refused to go with them.

Tariq denied four charges of abduction but was convicted by a jury on Tuesday.

Commander Dean Haydon, from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "I would like to praise the Turkish authorities for their vigilance and action in stopping the woman and her children, who were close to the Syrian border at the time.

"The children, who were returned to the UK, are now safe and well."