Daesh Bride Shamima Begum has revealed her world "fell apart" when she was stripped of UK citizenship following unapologetic comments she made about the terrorist group in 2019. Speaking with ABC News correspondent James Longman, the British-born young woman said: "When my citizenship got rejected, I felt like my whole world fell apart right in front of me. You know, especially the way I was told. I wasn't even told by a government official. I had to be told by journalists".
Ms Begum has recently lost the first stage of her appeal against the government’s decision to revoke her citizenship. "I thought I would be a bit different because I had not done anything wrong before I came to Isis", the 20-year-old told the ABC news correspondent.
Begum, who was pictured wearing a red scarf, diamante nose stud, and sitting close to a knitted cushion with the UK flag, said she was afraid for her life when she made positive comments about the terrorist group last year.
"I had just come into the camp. I had just given birth. I was hearing all these stories about women threatening other women, you know, folk uncovering their faces or speaking to men or doing interviews or anything like that. I just was afraid for my life”, she told the ABC News correspondent.
One year after the 'defeat' of ISIS, what of the men & women who joined?— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) February 16, 2020
In Syria, I spent time with British woman Shamima Begum & US/Canadian Kimberly Polman. In a tent next-door Hoda Mothana & her son Adam, from the US
Part of an @ABCNewsLive special report to air soon
In 2015, Begum fled Britain with two school friends to join Daesh in Syria. In 2019, The Times found her at a refugee camp and interviewed her about life under the most notorious terrorist group.
Begum’s statement about her lack of regret for joining Daesh and desire to return to the United Kingdom with her baby, born from a Daesh fighter caused uproar and frustration in Britain. Following the interview, then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid decided to strip the young woman of her citizenship claiming Begum has or is eligible for citizenship in Bangladesh because her parents came from this country.
Her parents along with relatives of other British nationals, whose citizenship was revoked due to terror-related charges, are challenging the government’s decision in courts. Under international law a person can be stripped of citizenship, only if he or she has dual citizenship.
Despite Dhaka saying Shamima Begum doesn’t have a Bangladeshi passport, a Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the government decision was right as the 20-year-old was not left stateless.
Britain and several other European countries are at odds over what should be done with thousands of people who travelled to Iraq and Syria to join Daesh. While some officials argue that they should be repatriated and tried in their home countries, other say they pose a risk to national security.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.