Shamima Begum (below), who has asked to return to the UK after traveling to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS, has claimed she was persuaded to leave by propaganda videos on Twitter. Begum, 19, was one of three schoolgirls, along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, from Bethnal Green Academy who left the UK to travel to Syria in February 2015.
Express Last week, Ms Begum, while heavily pregnant, said that she wished to return to the UK and has explained that she left for Syria to join ISIS because of propaganda videos (on Twitter). Speaking to Sky News, Ms Begum said she “knew” about beheadings and executions when she left to join ISIS in 2015. She said: “I knew about those things.”
Independent Was it the video of Alan Henning – a man who stood for nothing but kindness – having his head removed? Was it photos of crucifixions of in central Raqqa? The reports from Kobani of raped, mutilated six-year-old female corpses lying in the streets? Which image of a future life excited her the most? Submissive jihadi bride with a big strong executioner boyfriend? Machine-gun toting trained killer? And all this without her teddy bear? Thank heavens we know she uses Twitter.
It’s Twitter’s fault, reportedly. Twitter helped these girls connect with other gleeful fans of snuff-video beheading, cage-burning and the hobbysport of hurling gay men to their deaths from towers. Let’s blame Twitter.
She claimed that propaganda videos attracted her to travel to Syria and join ISIS. She said: “During the time I left, there was a lot on the news and stuff, and there were lots of videos coming out and I saw the videos on the internet and that attracted me to them like it attracted a lot of people.”
She added: “The way that they showed they will take care of you, you can have your own family, you can do anything. You’re living under Islamic law.
“I was hoping maybe, for the sake of me and my child, they would let me come back because I can’t live in this camp forever, it’s not really possible.” Begum said that there is “no evidence” to her “doing anything dangerous” and that when she went to Syria she was “just a housewife”. She also claimed that she was afraid her child “might die in this camp”.
Asked if she had made a mistake, Ms Begum said: “In a way, yes. But, I don’t regret it because it has changed me as a person, it has made me stronger, tougher.
If the sight of gay men plummeting to their deaths excited you so much that you went and spent four years aiding and abetting the homophobic carnage, forgive me, but I don’t want to come across you in Bethnal Green Tesco Metro. I can’t imagine that time spent hanging out with horror-movie ghouls who hate Britain, gays, democracy, the rights of women and religious freedom will have done much good for your personal development.