Great Britain

Shamima Begum says she was just a ‘dumb kid’ when she joined ISIS in Syria & insists she DOESN’T need rehabilitating

SHAMIMA Begum has said she was just a "dumb kid" when she joined ISIS in Syria and has insisted she does not need rehabilitating.

The 21-year-old fled Britain to join the militant group in 2015, when she was 15, but says she was not a terrorist.

She is currently being held at Al-Roj prison camp in Syria after having her UK citizenship stripped and has taken part in media interviews from there.

In her latest interview, she told journalist Andrew Drury: "I don't think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake."

She also added she does not need to be rehabilitated - but would like to help others with rehabilitation instead, the Daily Mail reports.

Begum said: "I personally don't think that I need to be rehabilitated, but I would want to help other people be rehabilitated. I would love to help."

'BIG DECISION'

The young woman, from East London, also spoke in a new documentary, The Return: Life After ISIS, claiming she and her friends were recruited online, the Mail Online reported.

She said she was "young and naive" when she decided to leave the UK and join ISIS.

She added: “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 said recruiters preyed on the guilt they felt at seeing Muslims suffer in the Syrian conflict.

A filmmaker who met Begum at a refugee camp in Syria last year said she is not a threat to anyone, but is broken and needs help.

Spanish director Alba Sotorra told The Times: "In the beginning, Shamima was like a ghost just sitting there, covered, lifeless, like a marionette, a doll."

He added: "Her lack of ability to express her feelings made me feel deeply sad for her.

"Then, maybe two or three months after I met her, we had this game with the kids.

"The kids were playing with kites. Shamima was always very silent.

"And she sat on one of these carts watching. I saw a teardrop fall from her eye. It was the first time."

The woman has also started wearing Western-style clothes, including jeans and baseball caps.

She explained: "I wear these clothes, and I don't wear a hijab, because it makes me happy. And anything in this camp that makes me happy is like a lifesaver."

Begum gave birth to three children in Syria but all of them died.

In a documentary, which was shot in 2019, she said that after the death of her third child, a son, she stayed up all night with his body.

She said: "He was my last hope, he was the only thing keeping me alive. I didn’t know how. That day I just cried for all my children. I cried for all of them. No one could help me, no one could do anything."

Begum was defeated in her legal battle to return to the UK for a court appeal over the removal of her British citizenship earlier this year.

The Supreme Court uninamously ruled in favour of the Government and said Begum cannot come back to the UK for a court case to reclaim her British passport for the safety of the public.

Delivering the ruling, Lord Reed savaged a previous judgement by the Court of Appeal and said it had "made its own assessment of the requirements of [national] security" without any "relative evidence".

Shamima Begum felt like she wanted to kill herself after her first two children died while she was pregnant with her third

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