LONDON: Shamima Begum, the London teenager who traveled to Syria to join Daesh, has told a documentary about her hopes of returning to Britain, saying she would “love” to help rehabilitate extremists.
Begum, 21, said she was “just a dumb kid” and not a terrorist when she left London to join the terror outfit when she was 15.
She has been at the Al-Roj prison camp in Syria since being stripped of her British citizenship.
“I don’t think I was a terrorist. I think I was just a dumb kid who made one mistake,” Begum 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.”
The former Daesh wife gave her comments to a British filmmaker for a documentary called “Danger Zone.”
She said: “Anything in this camp that makes me happy is like a lifesaver.” Dressed in Western clothes — having shed her traditional Islamic dress for interviews with British media outlets — Begum added that she listens to rapper Kanye West’s music.
Portraying herself as an ordinary Briton, she said she was following updates on West’s divorce from reality TV star Kim Kardashian, and watched reruns of US sitcom “Friends.”
Asked what she would say to those in Britain who think she should not be permitted to return, Begum said: “Can I come home please, pretty please?”
But her chances look slim, especially after the Supreme Court in February refused her permission to return to Britain to fight the government’s decision to remove her citizenship.
Andrew Drury, the filmmaker, said he had changed his mind about Begum after interviewing her, arguing that she should be permitted to return to the UK and be punished for her crimes.
Philip Ingram, a former senior British military intelligence officer, told Arab News: “There will be no evidence that could hope to meet the standards of beyond reasonable doubt in a British court, so it’s unlikely she could ever be brought to trial. She says she has changed, but she would, wouldn’t she?”
He added: “If she were allowed to return to Britain, she’d have to be monitored 24/7, costing millions and taking vital resources. She made her bed and should lie in it, and that’s the only way to continue to send a deterrent message to others who in the future may consider following in her footsteps.”