Former ISIS bride Shami Mabegum claimed she “did not hate Britain” when she traveled to Syria to join a terrorist group.
Begum, now 22 years old, has left the UK for Syria to join the ISIS terrorist group as a 15-year-old high school girl. She has been revoked from British nationality by the British government due to security concerns and remains in detention in a Syrian camp.
Taking up Sky News, Begum said she was groomed by friends and older men she met online before deciding to join a terrorist group. She said the decision wasn’t made immediately, it was what she “thought for a while.”
She states: “I didn’t hate Britain. I really hated my life. I felt very constricted and couldn’t live the life I wanted in Britain as a British woman.”
Begum repeatedly denied her accusations of committing atrocities as part of ISIS, saying “everything is completely wrong.”
“I’m going to fight them in court, but I haven’t been given a chance,” she said in an interview.
In February 2021, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled that Begum was not allowed to return to the civil rights proceedings and fight because of the safety risks.
She remains in the Arroy refugee camp in Syria and is “more scared” to live in, she said.
“For a long time it wasn’t violent, but for some reason it became more scary to live here,” she said. “Maybe women are tired of waiting for something.”
She said she wanted to reconcile with her family “when the time came.” She said, “I don’t think they made me fail the way I made them fail.”
After arriving on the territory of ISIS, Begum married the Dutch convert Yago Riedijk and had three children.
When she fell asleep, she said she thought, “My kids die, bombing, running constantly, my friends die.”
Asked for his reaction to the interview, Business Minister Paul Scully said on Monday he did not want to discuss the treatment of Begum’s case on television.
“It was heard by the Supreme Court after the Minister of Interior made a really clear decision,” he said.
PA contributed to this report.