British ISIS bride tells how she was radicalised by ‘racism’ in London before descending into ‘hardcore’ jihad in Syria
A BRIT who travelled with her terror convert husband to ISIS-held Syria has told of her radicalisation — and how she only had children to raise them as killers.
Tania Choudhury, 33, wed jihadi nut John Georgelas after she became hooked on extreme Islamist ideology after the 9/11 atrocity.
Growing up in London, she said she went into school aged 17 the day after the September 11 attack and told a pal, “Isn’t it dreadful what happened”, to which she replied: “Is it really?”.
“At that point I became really jihadi hardcore,’ she told The Atlantic magazine.
The comprehensive interview, which covers her descent into ISIS fanaticism, tells how Tania suffered racist attacks which first opened her to the idea to “retaliate”.
Growing up as one of five children to British-Bangladeshi parents in Harrow, North West London, she said: “I faced a lot of racism.
“We had bad neighbours, they would smash our windows, but generally I just felt like an outsider.
“I was looking for a way to retaliate.”
After the turning point moment of 9/11, Tania began attending anti-British rallies and signed up to a forum to meet like-minded partners.
She was contacted by American John Georgelas, the son of former US military doctor Colonel Timothy Georgelas and his wife Martha.
Georgelas, who was a rebel youth that turned to hard drugs before converting to radical Islam, began sharing with Tania his dream of a new Muslim caliphate — achieved through brutal terror.
The pair fell madly in love, and as The Atlantic describes, they “fantasized about becoming a family of itinerant holy warriors, a sort of Islamic version of the Von Trapps, substituting slaughter of infidels for Alpine show tunes”.
They wed in Rochdale, Gtr Manchester, in October 2004, and spent the next nine years growing their terror family.
Tania herself admitted: “I’ve had these children for one reason only, and that was so they could serve God as Muslims, as mujahideen.”
“Our dreams were to have land of our own, raise a family and train them to be assassins or whatever, soldiers, and then eventually go join the jihad”.
By 2013, Georgelas and Tania had three children and were expecting their fourth.
Then, in a moment that changed their lives, ISIS sprang up in the ruins of war-torn Syria and began rampaging through northern Iraq.
“John wanted to go to Syria, and I said I wasn’t ready, not while the kids are small,” Tania said.
Despite this, the family made their way in August that year to join their warped comrades, staying at an abandoned villa of a Syrian general in the town of A’zaz.
The dilapidated conditions were a shock. There was no running water, food was scarce and Tania and her children were quickly struck down with severe infections.
It was only months later that Tania reached a moment of clarity and realised she needed to escape the terror — and turn her back on jihad forever.
Her parents-in-law set her up to navigate a safe passage from Syria to Turkey before flying to safety to join them in Plano, Texas, where she now remains with her five children.
She was granted a divorce, and has begun dating again as she tries to turn her life around.
Tania said: “I went to the dating website Match, I wrote an essay: ‘I have four kids, my husband abandoned me to go become the next Osama bin Laden’. I got 1,300 replies.”
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Of her 44-year-old former husband, known among ISIS fighters as Yahya al-Bahrumi, she said: “He thought what he was doing was for the greater good.
“I can’t help but love him. I don’t know how to make that feeling stop.”
Her interviewer in The Atlantic, Graeme Wood, is an ISIS expert who wrote that his impression of Tania was that she seemed reformed.
Wood wrote: “She never, in my conversations with her, advocated violence or seriously regretted leaving John at the Syrian border.”
“And yet there are signs – not of violence,” he added, “but of a permanent effect of her jihadist brainwashing”.
The interview appeared in the latest edition of The Atlantic, which was published on Friday.
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