A UK-born jihadi bride who married the highest ranking American Islamic State fighter said she was driven to join the terror group by “racism” in Britain.
Tania Georgelas said she was “radicalised” to hate the West and join Islamic State after facing bigotry while growing up in Harrow, northwest London, as one of five children born to Bangladeshi parents.
“I faced a lot of racism,” she said, speaking in an Atlantic interview which dubs her the ‘First Lady of ISIS’. “I was looking for a way to retaliate, and I wanted honour again.”
— Tania Joya (@Joyageo7) October 23, 2017
Georgelas, who is now 33, did not elaborate on any of the “racism” she allegedly suffered, but went on to describe the September 11 terror attacks which took place in 2001 as the turning point for her conversion to “hardcore” Islamism.
“I saw the towers being crashed into and I went to school the next day,”’ she told The Atlantic.
“I said to my friend: ‘Oh isn’t it dreadful what happened’ and she looked at me and said: ‘Is it really?’ At that point I became really jihadi hardcore.”
MailOnline reported that Georgelas’ family trace her radicalisation to a group of ultra-conservative Algerian students of whom she “fell under the influence” after she began studying for A-levels at a new sixth form college in London’s east, several parts of which have been said to be “Islamicised”.
It was then that Georgelas began wearing a full body veil and supporting gender segregation, having previously smoked cannabis and shown little interest in academia as her four studious siblings went to university.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 6, 2017
In 2003, she met American John Georgelas — a convert to Islam — through a Muslim matchmaking website she was handed details of while attending a protest march against the Iraq war.
After they married in 2004, Georgelas — whose birth name is Joya — moved to Texas, where her new husband was jailed two years later for providing IT assistance to jihadi websites.
Two years after his release from prison, the pair began discussing a move to the “caliphate” in Syria in 2013, by which time they had three children together.
Although Georgelas “wasn’t ready” for Syria, she told The Atlantic that five months pregnant, she travelled to the Middle Eastern nation by bus in August 2013 with her family, hoping that Islamic State would go on to conquer every continent.
“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,” she said.
“I’ve had these children for one reason only, and that was so they could serve God as Muslims, as Mujahideen.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 1, 2016
Georgelas returned to Texas with their three children after only a few days in Syria, and went on to divorce her husband who remained in Syria — where he is now the highest ranking U.S.-born jihadi in Islamic State under the name Yahya al-Bahrumi.
Now converted to Christianity. Georgelas quickly returned to the world of online dating and has a new boyfriend, despite still living with her ex-husband’s parents.
“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,” said the 33-year-old, revealing that she met IT worker Craig within 24 hours of joining the site.
Georgelas is not the first Islamic State recruit to have gone to join the Islamic-supremacist terror group in the Middle East after complaining of bigotry in the West. Michael Skråmo, a Swedish convert to Islam, was featured as an “Islamophobia” expert by the nation’s state broadcaster before he moved to Syria to become a recruiter for Islamic State.
Appearing on SVT in a debate over whether there is a “witch hunt against Muslims” in Sweden, Skråmo decried fear of Islam as “rooted in ignorance”. According to Expressen, the Swede had also frequently complained of Islamophobia on his blog, where he wrote: “I think it is shocking that people think Islam is a religion of violence and hatred.”
In June, the 32-year-old called on jihadis to attack Sweden, in a propaganda video for Islamic State, declaring: “May the Lord of everything that exists awaken a lion. A Mujahid in Sweden who answer the call of jihad in the middle of the enemy.”