'I couldn't care less what people think': Mum jailed for joining Isis re-invents herself as TikTok influencer

18 August 2023, 12:08

Tareena Shakil has launched social media accounts after de-radicalising, having been convicted of being part of Isis
Tareena Shakil has launched social media accounts after de-radicalising, having been convicted of being part of Isis. Picture: Social media

By Will Taylor

An ex-Isis member who posed with guns during her time with the jihadis is attempting to reinvent herself as an influencer on TikTok.

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Tareen Shakil was the first British woman for joining the terror group.

She was in her 20s when she brought her toddler to Syria, with a judge saying she would have known he would grow up to be a fighter for the death cult.

Extremists radicalised her online and she went to the war-torn country in October 2014 after telling friends she was going to Turkey for a holiday.

Months later she decided to flee the group and managed to bribe her and her son's way to Turkey before returning to the UK, where she was convicted of being part of the group.

Following a six-year prison sentence, which she served less than half of, she has emerged on social media.

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Her new TikTok includes aspirational messages
Her new TikTok includes aspirational messages. Picture: TikTok

Using the online moniker That Girl Tam Tam, she became prominent on Instagram but has now made that profile private.

The former healthcare worker, who has lived in Burton and Birmingham, has since surfaced on TikTok.

She has racked up 4,000 followers and amassing nearly 100,000 likes across her videos in which she offers people business tips.

"I will get everything I've ever wanted," a caption in one clips reads.

"Not because I'm lucky but because I don't quit, I explore all options and failure doesn't scare me.

"I also couldn't care less what people think. You should all have this mindset."

Another says: "Thank you to anyone who ever doubted me. I wouldn't have made it without you."

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Shakil was sentenced to six years in prison, serving less than half of that
Shakil was sentenced to six years in prison, serving less than half of that. Picture: Press release

Her Instagram page showed photos of her with Dior and Givenchy products as she tagged fashion brands in an apparent attempt to get them interested in her page.

She has insisted she is not trying to become a big influencer and since made the page private.

During her sentencing, a judge said she allowed her 14-month-old son to be photographed next to an AK-47 and she "embraced [her] role in providing fighters of the future."

Shakil said she wanted to escape an unhappy family life while the judge said she "embraced Isis".

Shakil has created a TikTok account
Shakil has created a TikTok account. Picture: TikTok

She told her family on the day she arrived in Syria that she would not be coming back, and that it was part of her faith to kill apostates.

Shakil was pictured with a rifle during her time in the Middle East, as the terrorists rampaged across Syria and Iraq.

Since her release from prison, Shakil has described her shame at moving to join Isis for three months and said she "lives with the consequences every day".

She completed a de-radicalisation programme and has spoken critically about the group, explaining women had to behave in a certain way.

"I regret every last thing in terms of my decision to run away to Syria with my child," she said, adding she believed she had been duped and taken advantage of.

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