Jihadi bride Shamima Begum "ready to face prison" if allowed back into the UK, says report
The claims come just a day after the 19-year-old mother pleaded she was just a 'housewife' during her time in war-torn Syria.
Jihadi ISIS bride Shamima Begum is so desperate to get back into Britain that she is ready to go to prison, a report said.
Currently residing in a Syrian refugee camp where she gave birth to a boy a few days ago, the 19-year-old admitted in a BBC interview that she was one of Islamic State's "poster girls" and apologized for fleeing the country to join them, The Sun reports.
"IS supporter Shamima Begum admits to BBC News she was a poster girl for IS recruitment, apologizes to Britain for joining IS and says she is ready to face prison if she’s allowed to return," BBC Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville said on Twitter.
During the BBC interview, the 19-year-old said, "I actually do support some British values and I am willing to go back to the UK and settle back again and rehabilitate and that stuff. The poster girl thing was not my choice."
She told Somerville she was inspired after watching ISIS propaganda videos online and said that she knew "of the ISIS-inspired attacks in Manchester and elsewhere, but hadn't realized women and children were killed."
However, she felt it was retaliation and so it was "a fair justification" to compare the Manchester Arena suicide bombing and other atrocities in Britain with the war being fought between the Assad regime and ISIS militants.
"I do feel that is wrong that innocent people did get killed," she said. "It's one thing to kill a soldier, it's fine, it's self-defense. But to kill people like women and children just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings - it's a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now. It's kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification."
That said, the BBC correspondent was worried the teen "still believes IS propaganda" and said that "when I asked her about the enslavement, murder, and rape of Yazidi women by IS, she said 'Shia do the same in Iraq'. She had little to offer in way of apology to the millions of Iraqis and Syrians whose lives were destroyed by IS."
Sommerville tweeted that Begum paused the wide-ranging interview momentarily to “feed her two-day-old baby boy." He added, “He is under her abaya [full-length outer garment]. She says she hopes her family will gain custody of him if she is imprisoned.”
Previously, Begum pleaded that she was only a "housewife" during her time in war-torn Syria. Speaking to Sky News, she said, "When I went to Syria I was just a housewife for the entire four years. I never did anything dangerous. I never made propaganda. I never encouraged people to come to Syria."
Begum was 15 when she fled to Syria in 2015, and within 10 days of arriving in Syria, she was married off to Dutch ISIS recruit Yago Riedijk, who has not been seen since he was arrested by other militants on suspicions of spying.
After being discovered in a refugee camp by a Times reporter last week, Begum expressed her desire to return back to the UK.
However, opinions are divided in the UK over whether to allow all the citizens who went to fight with the IS to return back to the country after the caliphate was routed.
Lawmakers are now contemplating whether she, and others like her, should be let back into the country, especially after an international law that gives British citizens a right to move back to the UK.
Begum's legal representative Tasnime Akunjee compared her treatment by the authorities with that given to Nazi war criminals after World War 2.
“In terms of the political landscape what she’s saying isn’t helpful," Akunjee told The Times. "She’s somebody who was persuaded to go out there. She will need help. She will obviously have to be de-radicalised. The Nazis had the Nuremberg trials. They were given due process. This girl was a victim when she went out there at 15 years old. Our politicians are saying that she should be denied protections and due process that would have been granted to Nazis.”