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ISIS bride Shamima Begum has made another appeal to return to Britain, claiming she could be a ‘voice against radicalisation’.
The 22-year-old was stripped of her UK citizenship in 2019 after traveling to Syria at the age of 15. Now she says she wants to be used “as an example” to warn other Britons about the dangers of extremism.
Begum, who left the UK in 2015 along with friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, now lives in Al-Roj prison camp in Syria, where she was imprisoned.
ISIS bride Shamima Begum (pictured) has made another appeal to return to the UK, claiming she could be a ‘voice against radicalisation’
Speaking to iNews from the camp pending trial by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, she insisted on being “as British as possible” but admitted she expects to spend the rest of her life in Syria.
Begum’s parents were born in Bangladesh. She left school in Bethnal Green, East London to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.
There she married an ISIS fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died young. Her youngest child died in 2019 in the detention camp in northeastern Syria.
She has made previous attempts to restore her British citizenship, but failed in her attempt by the High Court to return to the UK and challenge her case in person.
The Supreme Court ruled on national security grounds that she cannot return to Britain to appeal the decision. The law states that one can be deprived of citizenship if it is deemed in the public interest.
Begum’s latest interview was shared with iNews by Andrew Drury and Richard Ashmore. Earlier this month, Drury spoke about how he has built close ties with jihadist brides while working in the camp.
“That’s how I feel and that’s how it looks,” Begum said of the chance that she will spend the rest of her life in Syria.
She told Drury and Ashmore she was aware of how the public views her in the UK, with Drury saying she enjoys her “celebrity” status, iNews said.
Begum, 22 (pictured left in Syria and right when she was younger) was stripped of her UK citizenship in 2019 after traveling to Syria at the age of 15. Now she says she wants to be used “as an example.” to warn other Britons about the dangers of extremism
Begum’s latest interview was shared with iNews by Andrew Drury and Richard Ashmore. Earlier this month, Drury (pictured with Begum in the camp) spoke about how he has built close ties with jihadist brides during his time in the camp.
Begun said: ‘The problem is that as a teenager you are very arrogant and don’t listen to people, so sometimes you really have to learn it the hard way.
“I could be used as an example, as if you don’t want to end up like them. If it happens that children make the same mistake I made, of course use me as an example.
“Tell the children, ‘Don’t be like them, don’t become like them.'”
She told interviewers that she was trafficked by ISIS fighters to be a bride along with several other British girls who went to Syria. She said it “happened so quickly” – in less than a year, and that she had been radicalized online.
When asked how she and two other teenage girls managed to make the trip to Turkey, which cost them £1,000, she said they had just told the travel agency they were going on holiday. ‘I am shocked by how easy it was’ [to go]. To this day I am shocked by how easy it was,” she said.
Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana are now believed to be dead.
Begum is part of a 50-strong British contingent of women and children in Syria’s Al-Roj prison camp (pictured) housing a total of about 800 families
Begum is part of a 50-strong British contingent of women and children in the Syrian encampment, which is home to a total of about 800 families.
The camp is divided between those prisoners who still believe in the ideology of ISIS and those who claim to have renounced it, such as Begum.
The East London schoolgirl dropped her veil more than a year ago and now straightens her dyed hair, paints her nails and wears makeup.
She denies that her image change is a publicity stunt.
She has since claimed that she was cared for by ISIS and her jihadist husband Yago Riedijk from the Netherlands, with whom she shared three children.
But after being captured near the Syrian city of Baghuz while ISIS fighters fled, she lamented the group for being “weak”.
She also said the sight of a ‘severed head in a trash can didn’t bother me at all’ as it was that of ‘a captured fighter…an enemy of Islam’, adding defiantly: ‘I don’t have one. sorry i came here. ‘