Sandeep Samra told Birmingham Crown Court she regarded the war-torn area held by Islamic State (IS) as “a new environment” where she could help out with first aid as a nurse.
The 18-year-old was brought up as Sikh before converting to Islam aged 15, but had not told her family.
She admitted attempting to travel to Syria between June 1 and July 31 last year and pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.She denied intending to carry out acts of violence, explaining that she had wanted to leave the UK after members of an anti-extremism team informed her family she had changed religion.
Prosecutors allege online messages show Samra – who claims she only planned to help ISIS as a nurse – was “going for death” and intended to die for the Islamic State.
In messages she wrote: “I want to go, Inshallah [God willing] if it’s still possible – at least our nurses can help soldiers and stuff, I really want to go.”
The teen applied again in June last year before she was arrested and had her phone seized, which revealed plans to travel to Syria.
Emma Shuttleworth, who worked at Lyng Hall School, said Samra had “frantically” called to ask for the assistant headteacher to countersign her passport photographs, adding that the teenager had become “impatient, frustrated and rude” after the request was not carried out.Two telephones were taken from Samra, one in October 2015, the other was seized in July 2017.
Messages show Samra describing how she preferred watching shooting executions over beheading videos but if it was “someone like [Barack] Obama I wouldn’t care.”
She also spoke with an unidentified person using an Arabic translator last year, writing: “I need a passport. If infidels know you support they take your passport. Britain is very strict.
“We should meet to marry in Oman to go to Syria together, God willing.”