Ahmed Ali, 60, spoke to The Daily Mail saying, “I know they [the British government] don’t want to take her back, and in this, I don’t have a problem. I know she is stuck there [in Syria] but that’s because she has done actions that made her get stuck like this,” Ali added, who spoke to the news outlet from his home in northeastern Bangladesh.
Shamima Begum, meanwhile, spoke to The Sunday Telegraph at the al-Hol camp in Syria where she is staying with her newborn son, saying: “They are making an example of me. I regret speaking to the media. I wish I had stayed low and found a different way to contact my family. That’s why I spoke to the newspaper.”
She admitted, however, that she had benefited from extraordinary treatment at the camp due to the international exposure.
“They gave me my own tent. They’re being a bit nice to me right now because I’m all over the news.”
Joining the Jihadis
Begum ran away from London at the age of 15 with two friends to join the self-proclaimed “caliphate” of the ISIS terror group. Heavily pregnant, she surfaced several weeks ago at the al-Hol refugee camp after fleeing a losing battle against Western allies’ push to break the jihadi grip on Baghouz, the terror cult’s final stronghold in the region.
Her pleas to be allowed back into the UK sparked a storm of controversy, fueled by incendiary comments she made in interviews in which she expressed no remorse about joining up with the jihadis and suggested terror attacks on civilians were “justified.”
Begum was blocked from re-entry into Britain by a Home Office decision to revoke her citizenship.
A British-based group of her family members told the British government in a letter they are “sickened by the comments she has made” in interviews, but want authorities to reverse the decision to strip her of citizenship.
In a letter to British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, reportedly seen and cited by the BBC, the family said they “wish to make clear, that along with the rest of the country, we are shocked and appalled at the vile comments she has made to the media in recent days,” but that the family “cannot simply abandon her” and called for a British court to review the ban.
Speaking about the legal aspects of revoking Begum’s citizenship, her father said: “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.”
Dozen More British ISIS Brides Surface
Ever since she began her campaign to be allowed back into Britain, it has emerged that at least a dozen more British jihadi women may similarly seek re-entry to the UK.
The BBC’s Middle East correspondent, Quentin Sommerville, who interviewed Begum shortly after she gave birth to a son, revealed the wave of British female jihadi arrivals at the camp.
“This whole issue of what to do with these IS [ISIS] women and other IS [ISIS] supporters isn’t going to go away,” he said, referring to the wives of ISIS fighters.
“We know that in the last week alone, 12 British women have arrived at displacement camps here in northern Syria. So for the British government, this headache of what to do doesn’t end with Shamima Begum.”
Begum’s father told The Daily Mail that he was shocked by the lack of remorse she showed about joining ISIS in a series of media interviews.
“If she at least admitted she made a mistake then I would feel sorry for her and other people would feel sorry for her,” Ali said, adding, “but she does not accept her wrong.”
In recent interviews, a largely unrepentant Begum said that while she did not agree with everything the terror group had done, she has “no regrets” about joining ISIS and suggested that air strikes against the terror group in Syria somehow “justified” the Manchester Arena terror attack.
“It’s a two-way thing, really,” she told the BBC, adding that the suicide bomber that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was a “kind of retaliation” for bombardments of ISIS-held enclaves, adding, “So I thought, ok, that is a fair justification.”
"I didn't want to be IS poster girl" – London teenager Shamima Begum, who fled to join Islamic State group in Syria, says she now wants the UK's forgiveness
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) February 18, 2019
Asked about her take on the particularly graphic atrocities the jihadi extremists are known to have carried out, Begum told The Times of London that seeing “beheaded heads” in bins [trah cans] “did not faze her.” When asked by a Sky News reporter, “Did you know what Islamic State [ISIS] were doing when you left for Syria?
“Because they had beheaded people. There were executions,” she replied, “Yeah, I knew about those things and I was okay with it.”
Begum also insisted that during her time with ISIS she was “just a housewife” and there was no evidence of her “doing anything dangerous.
‘Potentially Very Dangerous’
Security experts like British intelligence service head Alex Younger have warned, however, that would-be returnees like Begum were “potentially very dangerous” because having been in “that sort of position” people like her were likely to have acquired certain “skills or connections.”
Survivors and other victims of the murderous cult’s reign of terror, meanwhile, are furious at the prospect of ISIS women getting a sympathetic hearing in the Western press, or worse—a free pass.
Ali Y. Al-Baroodi, who survived ISIS’s bloody occupation of Mosul, told the Jerusalem Post that claims on the part of jihadi brides that they were “just housewives,” as Begum has so insisted, are simply false.
“It was hell on Earth and every single one of them made it so,” he said, asking sarcastically if perhaps local victims of the jihadi women should “apologize for disturbing their stay there.”
“[ISIS] demolished cities and hundreds of mass graves, [and left] thousands of orphans and widows,” he added.
“It’s impossible to muster sympathy for her,” author and academic Idrees Ahmad wrote in reference to Begum, according to the Post. “She went to Syria as a colonizer, several months after ISIS beheaded journalists and aid workers.”