Muslim in a burka. .
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The 19-year-old British citizen who at 15 ran away to marry ISIS terrorists in Syria is pregnant. Now, she wants to return to London to raise her future child.
The Times reported on Thursday that this will be Shamima Begum’s third pregnancy. Her previous two children died due to poor nutrition and the lack of medical care.
“Now all I want is to go back home to Britain,” she told The Times.
In 2015, Begum ran away from home with Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, who were her schoolmates at Bethnal Green Academy in eastern London. The three young women went to join ISIS and marry radical Islamic militants. They have not contacted their families since 2016.
Sultana was reportedly killed in a Russian air strike. Abase married Australian citizen Abdullah Elmir, whom Australian Intelligence believe was killed in a coalition airstrike. Begum said that she met with Abase two weeks ago and she is still alive.
While radical Islamic movements such as al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood attracted Muslims from all parts of the world, ISIS is unique since it used social media and the Internet to attract Western Muslims – usually of a young age – to join their ranks and take part in living up to their purported Islamic ideals.
Begum said she does not regret joining ISIS and that the horrors she has seen in Syria have not made her rethink her values.
British Minister for Security Ben Wallace said that Begum “has a right to return” to London.
“We are obliged to make sure our citizens have rights,” Wallace told Sky News, “no matter who they are.”
Wallace said that according to the duty for care law, the British government has a right and is obligated to protect children born to British citizens. But he said this obligation should be measured against the duty to keep UK citizens safe inside the country.
He dismissed any notions of sending British officials to extract Begum from Syria.
Wallace made clear that he will not put the lives of British citizens at risk to search for a radical Muslim living in a failed state.
Taking a different view, The Guardian reported that Begum should be allowed to return home because she was “groomed” by radical Islamic agents.
Grooming, a word usually reserved for cases where adults strike a relationship with a minor with the purpose of having a sexual relationship with him or her when they become adults, can also be used to describe cases in which minors are lured into joining cults or radical groups.
“The brainwashed child she was has everything to do with the brainwashed young woman she has become,” wrote Michael Segalov, suggesting that Begum should be given professional help to resume her life in British society should she return.
In 2018, Israeli citizens Tasnin Al-Assad and Rahma Al-Assad, both 19 years old, likewise tried to join the radical ISIS terror group. They were arrested by the Shin Bet (Israel security agency).
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