Shamima Begum says she was a 'dumb kid' who fled to Syria and now wants to 'rehabilitate others'

·2 min read
The story of Shamima Begum is among the ones told in documentary 'The Return: Life After ISIS'. (MetFilm/Sky)
Shamima Begum remains in a prison camp in Syria. (MetFilm/Sky)

Shamima Begum has said she was a “dumb kid” when she fled to Syria to become an Isis bride.

In her latest interview, the 21-year-old former jihadi bride insisted she did not need to be rehabilitated and said she wants to return to the UK after she was stripped of her British citizenship.

Speaking from the al-Roj prison camp in Syria, wearing a leather baseball cap and skinny jeans, she spoke of how she left Bethnal Green in east London six years ago at the age of 15 with two other schoolgirls.

Mail Online reported that she told journalist Andrew Drury for his film Danger Zone: “I don't think I was a terrorist. 

“I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake.

Watch: Shamima Begum learns she can't return to the UK

“I personally don't think that I need to be rehabilitated, but I would want to help other people be rehabilitated. I would love to help.”

When asked why she had stopped wearing her traditional Islamic dress, she said: “I wear these clothes, and I don't wear a hijab, because it makes me happy. 

Undated file photo of Shamima Begum, who will find out if she can potentially return to the UK to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship when the Supreme Court rules on her case. Issue date: Friday February 26, 2021.
Shamima Begum was stripped of her British citizenship two years ago. (PA)

“And anything in this camp that makes me happy is like a lifesaver.'

Begum also revealed she liked the music of rapper Kanye West and had been following the news of his divorce from reality TV star Kim Kardashian, and that she had watched old episodes of Friends in the camp.

She fled to Syria in 2015 and married a Dutch jihadi. She had three children, all of whom died of disease or malnutrition, before she arrived at the al-Roj camp. Her husband is believed to be in a Syrian prison.

In 2019, then home secretary Sajid Javid stripped Begum of her British citizenship after she said in an interview that the Manchester Arena bombing was “justified”.

She has fought a long legal battle against the ruling, but in February the Supreme Court backed the move to strip her of her citizenship.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Handout file still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) 15-year-old Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Shamima Begum, 15, at Gatwick airport in February 2015. Shamima Begum will find out if she can potentially return to the UK to pursue an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship when the Supreme Court rules on her case. Issue date: Friday February 26, 2021.
Shamima Begum, far right, fled the UK with two other schoolgirls in 2015 when she was 15. (PA)
Piers Morgan says ISIS bride Shamima Begum should go 'f**k herself'
Former Isis bride Shamima Begum wants to return to the UK. (BBC)

In a recent interview, she said she fled to Syria to avoid being the “friend left behind”.

Begum previously said she was being punished by the British government “because I am famous”.

She also claimed she was “brainwashed” by Isis and wanted to return to the UK for a “second chance”.

Begum said her world “fell apart” when she lost her British citizenship.

A number of high-profile figures, including London mayor Sadiq Khan, have said she should return to the UK to face justice.

Watch: Shamima Begum 'should be allowed to challenge citizenship case'

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