Shamima Begum joined ISIS so she was not “the friend that was left behind”, she has claimed.
Begum left Britain for Syria with two pals to become an ISIS bride when she was just 15, but admits to being “young and naive” in a new documentary when deciding to join the deadly terrorist organisation.
The 21-year-old is currently stationed at the al-Roj camp in northern Syria as she fights a legal battle to get back her British citizenship which the UK government stripped her of as a result of her affiliation with ISIS.
In the documentary, Begum explains she and her mum did not get along and her friends in Bethnal Green, east London, had been groomed by ISIS supporters online, who played on their guilt at seeing Muslims suffer in the Syrian conflict.
In The Return: Life After ISIS, a documentary which looks at the cases of several women, Begum says: “It was the holidays when I decided to leave with my friends.
"I knew it was a big decision, but I just felt compelled to do it quickly. I didn’t want to be the friend that was left behind.”
Begum told how the schoolgirls she travelled with, Mira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, had been killed in the city of Baghuz and she has also lost three children, The Mirror reports.
"Now I feel like I have no friends anymore, they were everything I had,” she said.
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Begum has also claimed that when she was interviewed at the camp during the period when her British citizenship was removed, she had been scared to criticise ISIS due to fears over her own safety.
Begum married Dutch extremist Yago Riedijk, who later surrendered to fighters allied to the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF].
During her time with the terror group, Begum lost a son and daughter.
Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in the squalid al-Hol refugee camp in Syria in February 2019.
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Begum’s third child, a baby boy less than three weeks old, passed away from pneumonia the following month.
In The Return: Life After ISIS, she insists that she did not know or support the brutal crimes committed by ISIS, including the rape, torture, and beheadings.
She told the documentary: "I would say to the people in the UK, give me a second chance because I was still young when I left.
"I just want them to put aside everything they’ve heard about me in the media."
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