British-born Tania Georgelas made the journey of being the wife of the most senior American member of ISIS, raising four boys to become jihad warriors, to a typical suburban housewife in Dallas, Texas. And all that before she even turned 33.
According to the follow-up of a great story on her former husband, John Georgelas, featured in The Atlantic last year, Tania spoke to the magazine about her dark past and her new life.
“Our dreams were to have land of our own, raise a family and train them be assassins or whatever, soldiers, and then eventually go join the jihad,” she said, explaining that the racism she faced growing up in London to British-Bangladeshi parents affected her to the point that she wanted to retaliate somehow.
Tania then met Georgelas (above), the son of a former U.S. military doctor, through a Muslim matchmaking forum and they married in 2004. Coincidentally, 9/11 was the catalyst for both to convert to Islam.
They’d had three children and another on the way when, in 2013, they began discussing joining ISIS in Syria. Later in 2013 the family travelled to A’zaz in Syria where tania Georgelas and her children became very ill because there was little food or running water.
Her husband agreed to let his wife and kids return to the U.S. to live with his parents in Texas, where she then decided to divorce him.
Tania Georgelas believes that her former husband is still in Syria fighting with the jihadists. She, however, has distanced herself from all that and joined a deradicalization program.
She also returned to online dating, with a daring profile: “I wrote an essay: ‘I have four kids, my husband abandoned me to become the next Osama Bin Ladin’. I got 1,300 replies.”
Through the dating site she met Craig, an IT worker who became her new husband. The former “First Lady of ISIS” is now living in Plano, a Dallas suburb, finally leading a normal life without hatred and fear.