Runa Khan Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Promoting Terrorism On Facebook

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Runa Khan, 35, has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to charges of promoting terrorism on Facebook. Khan lived in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, and is the mother of six children. 

In September of 2013, Khan re-posted an article entitled "Raising Mujahid Children.” A judge called it "a manual in encouraging women to carry out jihad.” She also posted a picture of an explosive vest, accompanied by the message “sisters, if you love your sons, husbands and brothers, prove it by sending them to fight for Allah,” according to Mirror.

On a different online forum, she said she daydreamed of her son dying to promote radical beliefs: "I pictured the future while I was zipping up his jacket, in sha Allah i'll be tying the shahada bandana round his forehead and hand him his rifle and send him out to play the big boys game." The Shahada is a confession of belief and faith in Islam, which is sometimes put on articles of clothing as a declaration of devotion. 

According to the BBC, police raided Khan’s home in October of 2013 and found images on her phone of her 2-year-old son wearing a turban and holding a toy assault rifle. Judge Peter Birts QC said the "only fair interpretation" of those photos was that Khan had intended to use them to radicalize others.

Previously, Khan had admitted to inciting terrorism in Syria; during this investigation, she unwittingly passed details of a route into the country to an undercover police officer.

Khan’s lawyer, Jo Sidhu QC, described her as "inflexible" in her religious beliefs. “[Khan is] extremely insecure, unsophisticated, binary in her thought processes ... devoid of any proper ... reasonable Islamic teaching."

Commander Richard Walton, head of the Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism unit, believed Khan’s prison sentence was a victory. "We aim to make the Internet a more hostile environment for terrorists; today's sentence supports that aim,” he said.  

Sources: Religion Facts, BBC, Mirror / Image via BBC