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'I Thought I Was Doing Right Thing as Muslim': Ex-Daesh Bride Begum Issues Yet Another Apology

© AP Photo / Metropolitan Police of LondonThis undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police of London, shows Shamima Begum, a young British woman who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group and now wants to return to Britain
This undated photo released by the Metropolitan Police of London, shows Shamima Begum, a young British woman who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group and now wants to return to Britain - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.09.2021
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At the age of 15, together with two other girls, Begum fled Britain and travelled to Syria in order to join one of the most brutal terrorist groups in modern history. In 2019, she voiced her desire to return to the UK, but the Home Office revoked her citizenship, citing national security grounds, a move that polarised the country.
Ex-Daesh* Bride Shamima Begum has asked the British public to allow her to stand trial in the UK, begging the nation for forgiveness yet again.

"Just give me a second chance. Honestly, the only crime I think I committed was being dumb enough to come to Isis, and even that can be refuted because I was 15 when I came, and you can't, you know, judge a 15-year-old for making a mistake which he or she very quickly regretted making", she told the TV show "Good Morning Britain" during a live interview.

Her case and that of other European citizens, who joined Daesh has polarised Britain, with one side saying she is too dangerous to allow her to return to the UK. However, the young woman insists that not only is she harmless, she can help the British authorities in tackling radicalisation.

Addressing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who voiced opposition to Begum's return, the young woman said the following:

"I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don't know what you're doing. I want [the British public] to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them. I'm asking the British people to forgive me, because I made a mistake at a very young age. Most young people don't know what they want to do with their lives and they are very confused and they can easily fall into things like this", she said.

What did she expect when she joined Daesh? The young woman stresses that she thought she would get married, have children, and "live a pure Islamic life".

Apologies for Remark on Manchester Arena Bombing

In 2019, The Times found Begum in a camp set up for Daesh relatives in Syira. During an interview she made several controversial statements that caused anger in the United Kingdom. Then teenager said she had a good time while in Syria and wasn't fazed when she saw her "first severed head". She also failed to voice regret about the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing that injured more than a thousand people and left 22 people dead, including children.

Back then, she said that it was wrong to kill people, but noted that Daesh considered the attack "justified" as retaliation against the West-backed bombings of the areas held by the terrorist group.

"I did not know about the Manchester bombing when I was asked. I did not know that people were killed. I did not know that women and children were hurt because of it. 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 sympathise with them in that way", the 22-year-old said.

It is unclear who Begum is referring to when she said she lost loved ones because of Daesh. In Syria she had three children with Dutch-born Islamist Yago Riedijk, but all of them died, reportedly due to illnesses.

Battle Over Citizenship Continues

As mentioned earlier, the Home Office revoked Begum's citizenship in 2019 on the grounds of national security after she expressed a desire to return to the United Kingdom, while failing to show regret over her decision to join Daesh. The young woman then claimed she made the statements because she feared that if she criticised the terrorist group other Daesh members living in the camp would attack her.

Her parents, who came to Britain from Bangladesh, later challenged the Home Office decision, saying it violated international law prohibiting nations from depriving individuals of citizenship only if they have citizenship of another country. The Court of Appeals sided with the family. The government appealed the verdict in the UK Supreme Court and won.

However, Begum's lawyers, are not ready to surrender. Her legal team previously claimed that there is evidence she was the victim of trafficking and was kept in Syria against her will "for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced marriage".

*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries.
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