British ISIS bride Shamima Begum begs for 'second chance', says decision to join the terror outfit was a 'mistake'
Shamima Begum, the British teenager who left her home in east London in February 2015 to join Islamic State says she’d like to be 'an example of how someone can change'
British woman Shamima Begum who left the country to join ISIS is now begging for a "second chance" after having finally apologized for her "mistake" in joining the radical terrorist outfit. Begum left her East London home when she was just 15 and went to Syria with two of her friends to join the brutal caliphate in December 2014.
She was discovered four years later by a British journalist in a Syrian refugee camp, The Sun reports. The embattled jihadi bride, who married Dutch militant Yago Riedijk, 23, in Syria, has said she never planned to return to Britain when she left the country with two school friends back in February 2015.
Showing remorse and regret for the first time since her interview in the sordid Al-Hawl camp in northern Syria earlier this month, Begum expressed a wish to make amends.
"I am hoping to be given a second chance," she told Daily Mail. "I’d like to be an example of how someone can change. I want to help, encourage other young British people to think before they make life-changing decisions like this and not to make the same mistake as me. I can’t do that if I am sitting here in a camp. I can’t do that for you."
According to the ISIS bride, she was given a new, better temporary home in the camp due to her "fame". However, she claims that angry neighbors now "want to burn it down."
After she appeared in a series of TV interviews without covering her face, Islamist hardliners have repeatedly scorned her for not conforming with Sharia law. "Now a lot of women hate me, I’m afraid of a lot of people," she said.
Earlier this month, Begum's family expressed how appalled they were at her words since her discovery at the camp. The 19-year-old Londoner's father said he's "on the side of the Government" in banning Shamima's re-entry to the UK and has condemned her lack of remorse for ISIS' horrifying acts.
"I know they (the British Government) don’t want to take her back, and in this, I don’t have a problem," Ahmed Ali, 60, said. "I know she is stuck there but that’s because she has done actions that made her get stuck like this. I can’t say whether it is right or wrong, but if the law of the land says that it is correct to cancel her citizenship, then I agree."
However, Begum still maintains she's been "discriminated against" by British authorities.
"I feel like I’ve been discriminated against because everyone was saying I was a poster girl for ISIS," the 19-year-old said. "I’m being made an example of. I’m being punished right now because I’m famous." She then added, "(ISIS) took my passport but I thought to myself, 'What am I going to do with it? I don’t really have any use for it.'"
Nonetheless, British authorities have maintained that it is legal to strip Begun of her citizenship as she's eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship owing to her family roots. However, Bangladesh has denied her entry outright. Although Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision to disenfranchise the ISIS sympathizer has been markedly popular, quite a few critics have argued that she should be put on trial in Britain.