“I am an asset against terrorism, not a threat,” says Shamima Begum, former ISIS bride
According to reports, the then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her UK citizenship on national security grounds.
According to media reports, Former Islamic State (IS) bride, Shamima Begum , claims that she can help fight terrorism in Britain. Offering to help the UK fight terrorism, the young woman says she regrets joining the Islamic State group for the rest of her life.
Who is Shamima Begum?
Sources unveiled that Shamima Begum is a 22-year-old woman who fled her east London home to travel to Syria and join IS when she was 15 years old, along with two other east London schoolgirls. There, she married a Dutch recruit and lived under IS rule for more than three years. In 2019, Shamima Begum was found, nine months pregnant, detained in a Syrian refugee camp. Eventually, her baby died of pneumonia.
According to reports, the then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her UK citizenship on national security grounds. Following this, she said:
I want to be brought back to the UK and face terror charges to prove my innocence. My British citizenship has been stripped for travelling to the Middle East to join the terror group. I want to be beneficial to society, and it would be a waste to let me rot in a Syrian camp.
Shamima Begum offers to become an asset against the terrorism fight
Addressing Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, Begum said:
I can help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing. I want to say that you are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in your country. And I want to help with that, given that I have personal experience with these extremists. If I am allowed back into the UK, I could advise on the tactics used by IS to persuade people to go to Syria and could share ways to speak to people who are at risk of being radicalized. I know what they say and how they persuade people to do what they do and come to places like Syria. I want them (the British public) to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them.
Shamima Begum further stated:
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 arrived. You know you can’t judge a 15-year-old for making a mistake that they very quickly regretted making. If you think I did do this, why don’t you bring me back and put me on trial, and hear my side of the story? If you honestly believe that, don’t you think I have to go to jail for it.
The 22-year-old continued to state:
The fact that you think I should rather rot here instead of face trial is unjust. The democracy that you live in says that everyone deserves a fair trial. I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims because I know I did nothing in IS (so-called Islamic State) but be a mother and a wife. These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government does not have anything on me. There is no evidence because nothing ever happened. I would rather die than go back to IS.
Asking for forgiveness, Shamima Begum said:
I know it’s very hard for the British people to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of IS and lost loved ones because of IS, but I also have lived in fear of IS, and I also lost loved ones because of IS, so I can sympathize with them in that way. I know it is very tough for them to forgive me, but I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here and if I ever offended anyone by the things I said.
Concluding the statement, Shamima Begum said:
I know some people who, no matter what I say or what I do, will not believe that I have changed or think that I want to help. But for those who have even a drop of mercy, compassion, and empathy in their hearts, I tell you from the bottom of my heart that I regret every decision I’ve made since I stepped into Syria, and I will live with it for the rest of my life. No one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I’ve done, and all I can say is I’m sorry, and please give me a second chance.
Govt’s reply to Shamima Begum’s plea
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, suggested that there was no likelihood Shamima Begum would be allowed to return and fight her citizenship case. He said:
The decision to strip her of her UK citizenship was morally right and legally correct – the right one to protect the British people. I won’t go into details of the case, but what I will say is you certainly haven’t seen what I saw. If you did know what I knew because you are sensible, responsible people, you would have made the same decision – of that, I have no doubt.
A Home Office spokesman responded to Shamima Begum’s plea and said:
The Government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe. We do not routinely comment on individual cases.
The statement provided by the Home Office doesn’t officially offer a conclusion in Shamima Begum’s case. Experts believe that many complications have to be addressed before the government finalizes a decision.
Story originally published in the Wall Sreet Journal.
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