via DailyMail: The first British woman to be found guilty of travelling to Syria to join ISIS paid for the trip using a student loan.
Detectives believe the only reason Tareena Shakil began an HND in hospitality management in Birmingham was to obtain a student loan.
It is understood that Shakil used the funds to purchase flight tickets to travel from East Midlands Airport to Turkey, from where she crossed the border into Syria with her infant son.
According to The Sun, Shakil received £1,215.50 in September 2014 and booked the flights a month later.
Shakil fled to the war-torn region in October 2014 after telling her family she was going on holiday to Turkey.
She was found guilty of terror offences at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday, becoming the first British woman to be convicted after returning from the extremist heartland.
The court heard the 26-year-old, who used to live in Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire and adored watching The Only Way is Essex, posed her boy for pictures wearing an ISIS-branded balaclava before returning home claiming she’d ‘made a mistake’.
During a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Shakil had denied the charges, claiming she only travelled to Syria because of a wish to live under the rule of sharia law.
However, the jury did not believe her account after seeing tweets, messages and photographs, including images of the black flag of ISIS and passages calling on people to ‘take up arms’, and stating her wish to become a ‘martyr’.
She was found guilty of being a member of ISIS and encouraging acts of terror, becoming the first British woman to be convicted after return from the terror heartland.
Judge Melbourne Inman QC told Shakil – who looked stunned by the verdicts – that she would be sentenced on Monday.
The Recorder of Birmingham said: ‘You may go down and be remanded in custody until Monday’s sentence.’
Shakil initially told police that she was kidnapped from a beach by a man she met on holiday in Turkey, taken to Syria and forced to send out propaganda Tweets for the organisation.