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Terror accused Tareena Shakil said Syria was "hell"

Tareena Shakil Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Birmingham Crown Court heard Tareena Shakil posed with her child holding guns for photos

A mother accused of taking her toddler to Syria and joining so-called Islamic State told police her time there was "hell" and "horrible", a court heard.

In interviews, she told police she "just ran, ran, ran" with her child, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutors say Tareena Shakil, 26, originally from Burton upon Trent in Staffordshire and more recently from Birmingham, is lying.

Ms Shakil denies joining IS and encouraging acts of terror via Twitter.

Prosecutors said Ms Shakil told her family she was "happy as Larry" to be in Syria during the three months she spent there from October 2014, they said.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Tareena Shakil told police in interviews she had been kidnapped and driven over the border, the court heard

Earlier, the prosecution at Birmingham Crown Court said she invented her story and showed messages in which they claimed she told friends and family she was happy to be living in Raqqa.

They also showed photographs of her posing wearing an IS balaclava and brandishing an AK-47 rifle.

A senior security analyst told the court the only women allowed access to weapons in IS were members of the all-female specialist police unit, the Al-Khansa brigade.

In her police tapes Ms Shakil says she went on a package holiday to Turkey, fell for a man at the beach and was then kidnapped and driven across the border.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Tareena Shakil was filmed at East Midlands Airport on 20 October 2014

She told police she eventually arrived in Raqqa, where she lived with other unmarried girls, some of whom were given arranged marriages to jihadi fighters.

Some women had wanted to escape, and some did, she said, but she decided to "act dumb" and try to work out how to travel around the country.

She decided to escape after three months, she said, and paid a taxi driver $50 to drive her towards the Turkish border.

When they were within 1km of it, she grabbed her child and ran, she told police. She said some Turkish soldiers helped her over the border.

She came back to the UK in February and was arrested at Heathrow.

Dr Florence Gaub, the security expert, said the only women who would be permitted to leave Raqqa would be the members of the Al-Khansa brigade.

The trial continues.

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