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British woman with mental illness held captive by Al Qaeda

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Tasnime Akunjee

A British woman who was captured by Al Qaeda in Syria and held for seven months has been released after the militants found out about her long history of mental illness.

Tasnime Akunjee
Tasnime Akunjee

The 31-year-old was freed after managing to send a secret Whatsapp message to London based lawyer Tasnime Akunjee, who then spent two weeks negotiating with jihadis based in Harem city reports Daily mail.

After presenting Nusra Front fighters with evidence that the woman – who is understood to have crossed into Syria from Turkey to teach English – has a long history of mental illness, the militants agreed to release her on ‘humanitarian’ grounds without demanding a ransom.

Mr Akunjee also represents the families of three teenage schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in East London who fled the UK to join ISIS earlier this year and are now feared to be members of the terror group’s fearsome all-female religious police force, known as the Al-Khansa Brigade.

Two weeks of negotiations to release the woman from East London were led by Mr¬†Akunjee, who said the jihadis were ‘entirely reasonable’ throughout the process, according to Sky News.

‘They took into account the humanitarian issues and agreed to release her once we have proven our credentials and history of mental illness,’ he added.