Shamima Begum joined Isis because she didn’t want to be ‘left behind’ in UK | UK | News

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The 21-year-old was one of three Bethnal Green schoolgirls who fled the UK aged 15 in 2015 to join the extremist organisation that at one time controlled swathes of Syria and Iraq. The other women, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, are understood to have been killed in bombing raids on the since-destroyed caliphate.

Speaking from a squalid Syrian refugee camp, Ms Begum explained for the first time her reasoning behind fleeing the UK’s safety for the horrors of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s regime.

She spoke as she continues to fight the Home Office’s decision to remove her citizenship over security reasons.

She told documentary The Return: Life After Isis that she was the “black sheep” of her family and did not get along with her mother.

The then schoolgirl claimed that she turned to Islam to be “part of something”.

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Shortly after joining ISIS, the then 15-year-old was married to Dutch Muslim convert Yago Riedijk.

The couple went on to have three children – all of whom have died in infancy.

She fled ISIS-controlled territory in the dying days of the caliphate while nine months pregnant and was later discovered in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

The baby boy she gave birth to in the camp died from pneumonia at just three weeks old.

When she was asked about life under the caliphate, her unapologetic comments about the actions of ISIS, combined with her desire to return to the UK, sparked outrage.

She claimed that the Manchester Bombing – in which 22 people including young children died – was “justified” because of atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq.

And she said she had been unfazed by seeing the head of a beheaded man as he was “an enemy of Islam”.

There were also claims that she was an ISIS “enforcer” and that she helped stitch explosives into suicide vests during her time with ISIS.

The uproar led then Home Secretary Sajid Javid to revoke her citizenship.

She appealed, with the case currently being decided.

The UK’s Supreme court ruled in February that she cannot return to the country of her birth while she fights the ruling.

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