When Riedijk was asked what he would say to his bride, he said she had to stay strong, even though it was difficult with all the things that they had been through.
“I would tell her, make use of your time, do whatever you can, learn whatever you can in order to become… to build a future for yourself, for us, in terms of taking care of future children, in terms of being a future housewife”, he told The Sun.
Shamima Begum was one of three schoolgirls who left London to join Daesh in 2015. Once in Syria she married Dutch-born Riedijk, who had converted to Islam and arrived in Syria in 2014.
For a long time Begum was thought to be missing. After she was found in a Syrian refugee camp in 2019, her British citizenship was revoked on security grounds. In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum was entitled to return to the UK and to challenge a decision to withdraw her UK citizenship irrevocably. Her intention to return to the UK has prompted a public debate on how the Government should treat returning jihadists.
* Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia