In a televised interview, a young woman, stripped of her British nationality after joining Daesh, begged the British authorities to let her return. She admits having been “stupid” and wants to justify herself in court.
Shamima Begum, the young woman who had joined Daesh in Syria and was stripped of her British nationality, begged the United Kingdom on September 15 to let her return, assuring that she had committed no crime except that of showing herself ” stupid”.
Then 15 years old, Shamima Begum had left in 2015 with two friends the United Kingdom, where she was born and raised, for Syria. There, she married a jihadist of Dutch origin, eight years her senior.
She wants to return to her country to ask to recover her British nationality from which she had been deprived in 2019 for reasons of national security, in a country marked by a series of attacks in 2017 claimed by Daesh.
“I am ready to go to court, to confront the people who made these allegations and to refute them, because I know that I did nothing in the [organisation] Islamic State apart from being a mother and a wife, ”the young woman, now 22, told ITV.
The young woman calls out to Boris Johnson
After fleeing the fighting in eastern Syria, Shamima Begum found herself in February 2019 in a Syrian refugee camp where she gave birth to a baby, who died a few weeks after birth. Her first two children, born while in Syria, also died.
I think I could help you a lot in your fight against terrorism
Shamima Begum, in a tank top and not wearing a veil, her hair falling over her shoulders during the interview, said she “would rather die than go back to Daesh” and added: “The only crime I have committed was to have been stupid enough to join Daesh ”.
Speaking directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, she told him: “I think I could help you a lot in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you are doing.”
In February 2019, Shamima Begum spoke to British media wearing a black veil falling to her feet. Her unvarnished remarks – she had notably qualified the Manchester attack, which killed 22 people in May 2017, as “retaliation” for the Western coalition’s strikes against Daesh – and her lack of regrets had shocked public opinion. She said she was ‘not aware of the Manchester attack when asked about it’.
The British Supreme Court had refused in February 2021 her return to the United Kingdom, ruling that as long as Shamima Begum was considered to be a danger, she could not return to British territory to challenge her deprivation of nationality.
London had invoked the possibility for the young woman to apply for the nationality of the country of origin of her parents, Bangladesh. But Dhaka retorted that she had never applied for nationality and refused to welcome it.