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Whatever we have to tackle together,
it will always be us
together as a team.
Welcome to BBC London News
with me, Victoria Hollins.
First tonight, a woman
from North West London who married
the American leader of so-called
Islamic State has spoken to the BBC
about turning her back on extremism.
Tania Georgelas, who grew up
in Harrow, travelled
to Syria with her children,
but fled the country before her now
ex-husband went on to fight for IS.
She's now dedicated her life
to countering extremism,
and wants to warn other women
about how an ill-judged mistake
cost her, her family
and ten years of her life.
She's been speaking
to Rickin Majithia from
the BBC's Asian Network.
My name is Tania Georgelas.
For a decade I was
an Islamic extremist.
My ex-husband became a leading
member of the Islamic State and now
I'm hoping to counter his ideology.
In the late 1990s, Tania went
to high school here in Harrow.
It's a middle-class,
diverse London suburb.
I grew up here myself,
and went to school just three
miles down the road.
I didn't know her at the time,
but know many people who did.
They have all described her
as a pretty normal teenager.
They say that she sometimes had
boyfriends and played
truant from school.
She wasn't known to be
especially religious or even
So when did it all change?
I turned to religion
in my life when I was 17.
I just wanted to change my identity.
I didn't want to be Tania
from Harrow any more.
I wanted to be someone pious,
someone that people
didn't call a "tart".
So it gave me structure in my life
that I needed and helped me feel
like I belonged somewhere.
In her late teens and early 20s,
Tania mixed with various
radical groups in London.
They changed the way
she looked at the world.
Our minds were just being
filled with these images,
terrible, disturbing images.
They would give examples of what
happened in Srebrenica and Bosnia.
We were made to feel this
shared sense of guilt
because we're a community,
and it was our duty to do something.
And that something was jihad.
In 2003, she married
John Georgelas, an American
convert she had met online.
Over the next eight years,
they lived across the UK,
the US and the Middle East.
By the time they reached Syria
in 2013, Tania was pregnant
with their fourth child.
I stayed in abandoned
homes by ex-military.
The windows had been blown out
and every single night,
I had become accustomed
to hearing gunfire.
By this point, Tania
said she had started
to question the life of Jihad.
She wanted to take
the children back to America.
After three weeks in Syria,
she pleaded with John
to let them escape.
There were bullets,
like snipers, on these towers,
shooting, and we could see
the bullets flying everywhere.
I remember putting my kids
through the barbed wire
and the Syrian refugees,
they were just guys,
they were helping us
as much as they could.
I put the stroller in, and then John
passed me another baby.
It was so scary.
John remained in Syria
and went on to join
the so-called Islamic
Until earlier this year,
the group controlled vast
areas of Syria and Iraq,
where it implemented brutal rule
and killed thousands.
Tania says she hasn't heard
from John in over a year,
and doesn't know if he's
alive or dead.
The last thing he told me, the last
message, was that he apologises
for the wrong that he's done to me
and the children, and that
if I don't hear from him in six
months, it's most likely
because he's dead.
Tania now lives
in the United States.
John's parents have custody
of the children, and they seem
well-adjusted to American life.
Tania sees them at the weekend.
Why should America give
you a second chance,
given all that you did to propagate
extremism against this country?
I think they should give me a second
chance because I realised
I was wrong, and I made a mistake.
I really want to make
up for my mistakes.
She says she's turned her back
on extremism and wants
to use her experiences to deter
others from making
the same mistakes.
If you were to meet a woman
who was thinking about going down
the same path that you once took,
what would you say to her?
I would say, I lost my family,
I lost my home, I lost ten years
of my life that I should have been,
you know, working towards my
education and a career.
I have four children
who don't have a dad now.
Is this the situation
you want to be in?
Rickin Majithia with that report.
Surrey Police say a large
and complex investigation
is being carried out into historical
allegations of sexual abuse
at a children's home near Woking.
17 people have been arrested
or questioned about allegations
from former boarders
at Kinton Approved School,
also known as the Oaks Centre.
Marc Ashdown is at
Guildford Police Station.
Surrey police launched this
investigation in May 2013 after they
received a large number of
allegations of child sex abuse from
the 70s to the early to thousands.
We don't know much about it. The
children's home has long since
closed. We believe it was for boys
between 13 and 18 who had been in
trouble with the law were struggling
at home. They stayed there and
studied there. The figures are quite
staggering. Surrey police have
already spoken to about 200 people
as this search for potential victims
and witnesses. 17 people have been
arrested two were spoken to under
caution. They believe they have
about 1500 separate lines of
enquiry. Kenton house and the Oaks
Centre was run by Surrey County
Council. We have asked them a bunch
of questions today. Only pupils
would have studied there? How any
members of staff, when it closed? So
far they have not got back with any
answers. It is a vast investigation.
There has already been a case about
this school before?
Yes, back in
2006, Keith Hamilton, 69 at the
time, he was a housemaster at the
school. He was convicted of a string
of sex offences against two young
boys under the age of 16. He was
convicted for six years. There is
nothing to suggest this is anything
to do with him. But it is striking,
alarming even, but police have
launched this large complex
investigation in 2013, but seven
years earlier a prominent figure at
the school was convicted of child
sex offences. Surrey County Council
are cooperating fully with the
investigation. But police say many
more victims, witnesses, potential
suspects have come to light as they
have started their enquiries. They
want anybody who had anything to do
with this home in the 70s, 80s or
90s to get in touch with them
urgently and confidentially.
A man who seriously injured a model
and her cousin when he threw acid
at them has admitted intentionally
causing the pair
grievous bodily harm.
The attack happened in Beckton last
June and left both victims
with scars, as Ayshea Buksh reports.
They were two relatives travelling
through East London on their way
to celebrate a birthday.
Resham Khan had just turned 21
and returned to England
after living abroad.
Her cousin Jameel Muhktar
was driving the car and had
an argument with a passer-by.
When they stopped at traffic lights
in Beckton, they became victims
of a terrible acid attack.
I met Jameel shortly after it
happened, and he described
that horrific moment.
He had some sort of liquid bottle,
but it looked like water to me.
It looked clear.
He just started squeezing it in our
faces and all over me, basically.
A lot of it went on her.
Within seconds, my cousin
Our eyes were blistered,
have they started melting,
my face started melting.
My clothes started to burn,
my shorts started sticking to me,
there was smoke coming out
of the seats.
Their attacker was John Tomlin
from nearby Canning Town.
Immediately afterwards he went
on the run and slept
rough in Epping Forest,
before eventually handing
himself into the police.
Both Resham and Jameel
suffered extensive burns
to their faces and bodies.
Jameel told me how his injuries
were so bad he was put
in an induced coma.
I can't hear from this ear.
Around this neck, this arm
is a mess, this part of my wrist,
my front chest, my belly,
my back, my legs.
Today at Snaresbrook Crown Court,
John Tomlin pleaded guilty to two
counts of grievous bodily
harm with intent.
Judge Sheila Kavanagh asked in court
for psychiatric reports on Tomlin
to be prepared in order
for her to ascertain his
dangerousness to the public.
Resham Khan has recently
posted on social media
pictures of her recovery.
Jameel Mukhtar is still in terrible
pain, both physically and mentally.
My face here, can you see,
it's a different colour.
My ear speaks for itself.
Tomlin will be sentenced
early next year.
That's it for now.
Here's the weather
with Elizabeth Rizzini.
Here's the weather
with Elizabeth Rizzini.
It has got a bit chilly.
It is certainly cold out there now
but it was a mild start to the
morning. Temperatures between eight
and 10 degrees. We started off on a
wet note. Then we got the cold,
sunniest off into the afternoon. The
general theme through the rest of
the week is and will be turning
colder. Turning progressively colder
as we had through the week. There
will be a chilly northerly wind.
Turning briefly milder again into
the weekend. It will turn cold once
more for next week. This is tonight.
There will be a patchy frost as we
head into tomorrow morning. Bits and
pieces of cloud. A brisk,
north-westerly wind. A frost in more
sheltered spot as we move into
tomorrow morning. A cold start to
the day. Cloud around in the
morning. That should break and we
will get some sunshine. Quite a nice
afternoon but it will feel cold. A
bracing wind. These are the
temperatures. Quite a lot of wind
chill as well. Wednesday looking
similar. The best of brightness
towards the West. More cloud in the
east. The northerly wind will turn
north-easterly as we head into
Thursday and Friday. That could
drive a? Showers toward eastern
areas. For the weekend it will turn
briefly milder. There will be plenty