NEWS
02/04/2019 10:47 BST | Updated 03/04/2019 09:28 BST

Isis Bride Shamima Begum Reveals She Finds Brexit 'So Boring'

Teenager says she was "brainwashed" when she fled UK and wants to return.

Islamic State bride Shamima Begum has said she finds Brexit “so boring” that she watches cartoons to escape it.

Speaking in her first interview since the death of her third child, Jarrah, Begum said she “really regretted everything” and insisted she was brainwashed as she appealed for a second chance to return to the UK.

The 19-year-old, who was one of the three Bethnal Green schoolgirls to flee for Syria in 2015, told The Times that when she left London, she “believed everything that I had been told, while knowing little about the truths of my religion”.

Begum married Dutch fighter Yago Riedijk and the pair fled the caliphate as its last bastion in Baghuz crumbled earlier this year.

The teenager, who has Bangladeshi heritage, has since been stripped of her British citizenship and is stranded in a refugee camp in Syria.

“I have sat down and thought about how long I would have to stay here. And I have kind of accepted that I will have to stay here, I will have to make this like a second home,” she said.

Then in the late stages of pregnancy, Begum appeared to have little remorse when she was found in the al-Hawl camp in February.

Her apparent defiance prompted public anger back in the UK, but some argued that she was a victim of grooming and should be allowed to come back to Britain.

“Since I left Baghuz I really regretted everything I did, and I feel like I want to go back to the UK for a second chance to start my life over again,” she said.

“I was brainwashed.”

PA Ready News UK
Begum when she left the UK

The teenager attributed her early display of remorselessness to the threats she faced from extremists in al-Hawl.

“Anything I said against Dawlah (IS), they would immediately attack me, so I was afraid of that,” she said.

Her son, Jarrah, died on March 8 aged three weeks and was buried in an unmarked grave on the outskirts of the facility. 

Begum was speaking to the Times from the al-Hol camp, where she and her baby were moved to out of concern for their safety after she went public.

It was there that she revealed her Brexit disillusionment to Times journalist Anthony Lloyd and said she kept up with the political process through a TV in the tent she shares with other wives of foreign fighters.

She said: “Brexit: it goes on and on without end. 

“It’s so boring now that I ask the sisters to flick on to the cartoon channel just to get away from it.”

Last month it was reported Begum’s family had begun legal proceedings to review the home secretary’s decision to strip her of British citizenship.

Sajid Javid’s move was only permissible under international law if it does not leave her stateless.