A 34-year-old Northern Irish woman in England will serve 2 years and 6 months in prison after planning to take her three children, including an 11-month-old baby, to Syria to be with her husband who had moved there to join ISIS.
Lorna Moore, 34-years-old and originally from Co. Tyrone, is one of the so-called ‘Walsall group’ of 12 living in the West Midlands town who went to or attempted to travel to Syria last year with the intention of joining ISIS.
Moore, a mother of three, was training to be a math teacher. She had been raised a Protestant in Omagh but converted to Islam before marrying her husband, Sajid Aslam, 34, whom she met while studying at university in Manchester in 2000.
In February of this year, a jury found her guilty of failing to inform British authorities that her husband was planning to join ISIS. She has now been sentenced by Judge Charles Wide to two years and six months in prison.
During Moore’s sentencing at the Old Bailey, Judge Wide called her a "very strong character" and told her that she "knew perfectly well of your husband's dedication to terrorism," the BBC reports.
He also told her that some of the evidence she gave had been “nonsense” and that "one of the troubling things about you is your facility for telling lies."
During the trial, Moore maintained that she had suffered psychological and physical abuse from her husband.
She said that she had sought advice from a Muslim cleric on how to divorce Aslam, but that she had been told she would have to take him back and that "a white Muslim is not a special Muslim.”
Aslam, who worked as a supply teacher, departed from the UK in August 2014, driven to the airport by Ayman Shaukat, another of the Walsall group, who was sentenced to 10 years for assisting Aslam and two others from the group, Alexander Nash and his pregnant wife, Yosuma Jan, in leaving the country to join ISIS.
He later confirmed his arrival in Syria by by sending a link to Shaukat to the music video for the song “I Made It” by Cash Money Heroes.
While Aslam was making his journey, Moore took their children to a Butlins holiday camp in Skegness.
Shortly after, Nash and Jan were detained by Turkish police and sent back to the UK. Nash has been jailed for five years; charges against his wife were dropped after he took sole responsibility for the plans.
Aslam is believed to still be in Syria. According to an earlier BBC report, he said that he was teaching children in refugee camps. However, the article also noted that his sister told jurors that he was eager to "start a dialogue with police about coming home."
Other individuals from Walsall charged or implicated include Jake Petty, 25, also known as Abu Yaqoob Britany, whose mother, Sue Boyce, a Christian minister, had to identify his dead body from video footage on social media.
Petty was the first to leave in 2014 and was followed shortly after by his friend Isaiah Siadatan. Kerry Thomason, Siadatan’s wife, then attempted to leave the country with their two children – she was pregnant with their third – but was apprehended by police.
Siadatan is thought to have been killed last year in Syria. Thomanson admitted to “preparing for acts of terrorism” by planning to join her husband in Syria. Judge Wide described her as “naïve” and, citing threats her husband had made against her family, gave her a two year suspended sentence.
With these cases, police have claimed that women in the Walsall area were being encouraged to travel to Syria and give birth to their children in ISIS-controlled territory.