Shamima Begum has said she was just a “dumb kid” when she joined terror network, ISIS in Syria and insists she does not need rehabilitating.
The 21-year-old jihadi bride fled Britain to join the militant group in 2015, when she was 15, but says she was not a terrorist and is still not a terrorist.
Shamima is currently being held at Al-Roj prison camp in Syria after she had her British citizenship stripped by then Home Secretary Sajid Javid in 2019.
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She insists she wants to go back to the UK which she referred to as ‘home’
In her latest interview with journalist Andrew Drury, she said:
“I don’t think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake.”
She also added she would like to help others with rehabilitation instead, insisting she doesn’t need rehabilitation.
Shamima 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.”
When asked what she would say to people who do not want her to return to the UK, she said: “Can I come home please, pretty please?”
The ex-jihadi bride 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.”
She said in the camp she enjoys listening to Kanye West’s music.
Talking about how ISIS recruited her online, Shamima aid 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.”
Shamima said ISIS recruiters preyed on the guilt she felt at seeing Muslims suffer in the Syrian conflict.
Filmmaker Alba Sotorra, who directed a documentary about her life, 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.”
In the 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.”