04:56 GMT15 June 2021
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    The notorious Daesh bride, Shamima Begum, has been making world headlines ever since her February interview with The Times, in which she cold-bloodedly admitted that seeing a severed head in a bin “did not faze her”.

    In an interview with BBC Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville, Yago Riedijk, the Dutch husband of Shamima Begum, who joined Daesh* in 2015, said that he wanted his wife to return to the Netherlands with him.

    READ MORE: 'In Fear of Her Life': Shamima Begum Leaves Refugee Camp After Death Threats

    The 27-year-old, who is now being held in a Kurdish detention centre in north-eastern Syria, admitted that he had fought for the terrorist group, but added that he had rejected it and tried to leave the self-proclaimed caliphate.

    Riedijk told Sommerville that he was imprisoned in Daesh’s so-called capital Raqqa and tortured after terrorists accused him of being a Dutch spy.

    As the group lost its positions, Riedijk and Begum, who headed to the war in Syria from London at the age of 15, escaped from the town of Baghouz, the organisation’s last stronghold in eastern Syria.

    The Dutchman surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters, while Begum, now 19, and their newborn baby, Jarrah, wound up among thousands of people in a refugee camp in the country’s north. According to her lawyer, she has already fled the camp with her child after receiving death threats.

    Speaking with the BBC, Riedijk said that there was nothing wrong with marrying 15-year-old Begum while he was 23, because it was “her choice”:

    “To be honest, when my friend came and said there was a girl who was interested in marriage, I wasn’t that interested because of her age, but I accepted the offer anyway. It was her own choice. She asked to look for a partner for her, and I was invited”, he said, adding that “she was very young, maybe it would have been better for her to wait a bit. But she didn’t, she chose to get married and I chose to marry her”.

    He also claimed that Begum “seemed in a good state of mind”.

    Many social media users, however, are against Daesh terrorists’ return to Europe and are urging governments not to let them return, with some hoping for death sentences:

    Begum pleaded that she was willing to change in order to be allowed back in the UK, but sparked fury by refusing to apologise for joining Daesh and contending that the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing was “retaliation” for coalition attacks in Syria.

    READ MORE: Sorry Not Sorry? Shamima Begum Says She Wants Brits to Learn From Her 'Mistake'

    Subsequently, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that he would do “everything” to stop British Daesh fighters and their brides from returning to the United Kingdom, and stripped Begum of her citizenship, saying that she could claim Bangladeshi citizenship due to her mother’s roots.

    Bangladesh, however, dismissed that possibility, saying that Begum had been “erroneously identified” as a citizen by the UK government and that she had “never” visited the country.

    Since then, Begum has claimed that London’s decision was “unjust” and that they had opted to “make an example” of her because she had been in the epicentre of media attention.

    “I feel like I’ve been discriminated against because everyone was saying I was a poster girl for ISIS [Daesh]. I’m being punished right now because I’m famous. I regret speaking to the media. I wish I had stayed low and found a different way to contact my family”, she told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview on 24 February.

    *Daesh, also known as IS/ ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.


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