Shamima Begum say she “regrets everything” and wants a “second chance”

Shamima Begum

Shamima Begum has said she regrets leaving Britain for Syria to live under ISIS’s so-called caliphate while asking for a “second chance” in her country of birth. 

In her first interview since the death of her infant son Jarrah, Ms Begum said she was “brainwashed” by online ISIS groomers.

The 19-year-old from east London had her UK citizenship revoked amid a national debate over her request to return to Britain.

The former Bethnal Green schoolgirl left for Syria to live under ISIS aged 15 and had lost two children prior to the death of her third child.

She told The Times: “Since I left​ Baghouz I really regretted everything I did, and I feel like I want to go back to the UK for a second chance to start my life over again.

“I was brainwashed. I came here believing everything that I had been told, while knowing little about the truths of my religion.”

“I do regret having children in the caliphate. I came thinking it would be a place of belonging where I could raise a family safely. But it was not a place to have children.”

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Ms Begum was removed from a refugee camp near Baghouz due to risks on her safety posed by ISIS supporters.

The Times reports that she is now at a smaller camp in al-Roj with around 600 people, where officials say Ms Begum is reforming from her “radicalised state”.

In the latest interview, she said regarding being “brainwashed”: “I still supported them because of what they told me and what they taught me.”

Ms Begum also explained that she was “depressed” after she left her family home and that led to her being convinced by online groomers she was communicating with to leave the UK.

She described her regret that her relationship with her family deteriorated because of her actions, and said she hoped to rectify it if she returns.

Ms Begum was one of three schoolgirls from east London who left Britain in 2015 to live under ISIS territory in Syria.

When she first asked to return to the UK, Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Ms Begum of her citizenship on “legal advice” that she qualified for Bangladeshi citizenship because her mother was a Bangladeshi passport holder.

However, Bangladesh refused to accept Ms Begum, while her lawyer argued that she does not have dual citizenship – rendering her currently stateless.

The UK government was heavily criticised over the death of Begum’s young son, Jarrah, with many believing Britain should have done more to protect the child who was entitled to British citizenship.

But foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was “too dangerous” to send officials to try and rescue the baby, which was rejected by many as several journalists were given safe passage and access to Ms Begum at the refugee camps.

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