Shamima Begum: ISIS bride begs for forgiveness to return home

ISIS bride, Shamima Begum, one of the east London schoolgirls who ran away from home at age 15 in 2014 to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria, has asked for forgiveness and pleads with the British Prime Minister – Boris Johnson, to let her come home.

According to Wikipedia, dozens of girls and women travelled to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, starting from 2012. They became brides of ISIL fighters and became known as ISIS Brides.

While some left their home willingly, others were taken to Iraq and Syria as minors by their families. The UK had the highest number of ISIS Brides (15), followed by Australia (13).

Begum, now 22, appeared on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” programme on 15 September 2021 to plead with the British public for forgiveness.

“I know it’s very hard for the British people to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of Isis and lost loved ones because of Isis, but I also have lived in fear of Isis, and I also lost loved ones because of Isis, so I can sympathize with them in that way,” she said.

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In February 2019, the government revoked Begum’s British citizenship on national security grounds. However, she continually denied being directly involved in terrorist preparations. Speaking from Syria and pleading to come home, she explained that she came to Syria expecting to get married, have children and “live a pure, Islamic life”.

Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum

She added, “the reason I came to Syria was not for violent reasons. At the time, I did not know it (so-called Islamic State) was a death cult; I thought it was an Islamic community I was joining. I was being fed a lot of information on the internet by people.”

Still speaking of her involvement in the terrorist attacks, she explained that she is willing to go to court and refute the claims. “I know I did nothing in IS but be a mother and a wife. These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government do not have anything on me. There is no evidence because nothing ever happened,” Begum said.

Shamima Begum was born in England to immigrant parents of Bangladeshi origin and citizenship on 25 August 1999. She was raised as a Muslim. In 2014, at age 15, she left the UK to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Upon her arrival in Syria, she married Dutch-born Yago Riedijk, an Islam convert, who had arrived in Syria in October 2014. She had three children with him, all of whom died young. Her youngest child, whom she gave birth to in a refugee camp in February 2019, died of lung infection in March 2019.

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