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A mother from Bradford has been sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to abduct her two children to live in Raqqa, Syria, under the control of the Islamic State (Isis). The 34-year-old woman, whose name has not been revealed, tried to kidnap the children in October 2015 but was caught in Istanbul after her husband and parents contacted the police.
Leeds Crown Court judge Rodney Jameson, who handed her the sentence, said: "It is beyond dispute that Isis 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 and 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."
The British-born woman spent her formative years in Pakistan before returning to live in northern England. She became increasingly religious and even gave up her job in finance in August 2015.
Carrying passports and £4,000 ($5,808) in cash, the woman left after telling her husband she was going to a party. Instead she boarded a flight to Istanbul.
Her defence said she was unhappy with the environment in the UK and wanted her children to grow up in a place where Sharia law was well implemented. The woman told the police she intended to travel to Raqqa from Mosul in Iraq and that the children eventually would have returned to the UK when they turned 16.