by WorldTribune Staff, February 18, 2019
A British teen mother who as a 15-year-old traveled to Syria to become an ISIS bride is seeking to return to the UK and said “a lot of people should have sympathy” for her.
Shamima Begum, 19, who recently gave birth to a baby boy in a Syrian refugee camp, told Sky News that she was aware of beheadings and executions being carried out by Islamic State terrorists but she was “okay with it” because she had heard “Islamically that is allowed.”
London-based imam Ajmal Masroor told Sky News this was not the case. “Show me where in the sayings of the prophet does it say it’s justifiable? In fact, God says contrary – taking one innocent life is like taking the lives of the entire humanity.”
Begum said she had been radicalized by watching videos on the Internet shortly before leaving Britain.
Begum was one of three schoolgirls, along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, from Bethnal Green Academy in east London who traveled together to Syria to join ISIS.
While Sultana was reported to have been killed in an airstrike in 2016, Begum said she did not know what had happened to Abase.
Begum had two other children – a boy and a girl – during her time with ISIS but said both died due to sickness.
She said she married a Dutch ISIS member named Yago Riedijk three weeks after arriving in Syria in 2015 and, in the interview with Sky correspondent John Sparks, claimed she was “just a housewife” during her four years with the terror group.
“I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I have been through,” Begum told Sky News. “I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left. I was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they’d let me come back.”
Alex Younger, head of the British intelligence agency MI6, has warned would-be returnees were “potentially very dangerous,” given that someone who had been in “that sort of position” was likely to have acquired certain “skills or connections”.
Asked about concerns she could pose a security threat if she returns to Britain, Begum said the UK authorities had no evidence of her “doing anything dangerous. I never made propaganda. I never encouraged people to come to Syria.”
Meanwhile, an American woman who joined ISIS and took to social media to call for the blood of Americans to be spilled now says she “deeply regrets” her actions and is asking to be allowed to return to her family in Alabama.
Hoda Muthana, 24, traveled to Syria to join ISIS and wound up being captured by Kurdish forces. She is being held at the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria with her 18-month-old son.
“We were basically in the time of ignorance […] and then became jihadi, if you like to describe it that way,” Muthana said, according to The Guardian. “I thought I was doing things correctly for the sake of God.”
Muthana is the only American among an estimated 1,500 foreign women and children inside the camp of 39,000 people, which is located about two hours from where a final battle to drive ISIS from its last major area of control is being waged.
Muthana was married three times to ISIS jihadists. Two were killed in battle and the third lasted only briefly, she said.
Soon after arriving in Raqqa, Syria, Muthana married an Australian jihadist, Suhan Rahman, the first of her three husbands.
Rahman was killed in the town of Kobani. Soon after, Muthana tweeted: “Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”
U.S President Donald Trump said that “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them …”
Muthana said she had not been in contact with U.S. officials since her capture. “I would tell them please forgive me for being so ignorant, and I was really young and ignorant and I was 19 when I decided to leave. I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East. America can take my passport and I wouldn’t mind.”