LONDON: A Dutch man who married British Daesh bride Shamima Begum has said he does not condone terror attacks on European soil but still hopes that a caliphate will be established.
Yago Riedijk, 29, is imprisoned in a Kurdish-administered camp in Syria and has admitted to being a Daesh fighter.
Begum, one of Britain’s most well-known Daesh members, is campaigning to be allowed to return to the UK after her citizenship was revoked.
Riedijk, then around 22, married Begum when she was just 15, within days of her arrival in Syria in 2015. The pair had three children together, all of whom have died.
He said he had “beautiful memories” of their life together before Kurdish forces — with the assistance of NATO and regional states — destroyed Daesh’s so-called caliphate and imprisoned its surviving members.
Speaking to Alan Duncan, a Scottish soldier making a documentary about Daesh, Riedijk said despite his active role in the terror group, he disagreed with the many Daesh-inspired terror attacks that have taken place on European soil in recent years for “a number of reasons,” including “the prohibition on killing innocent people in Islam, on killing women and children. I see these attacks as not being Islamically responsible.”
However, Riedijk refused to comment on the group’s beheadings and its treatment of the Yazidi minority in Iraq, which experienced attempted genocide, slavery, mass sexual abuse, torture and other abuses at the hands of Daesh.
Begum has not been directly linked to any of these abuses, and she has been pushing the British government and general public to allow her to return to the UK.
In September, she appeared live on TV to say she would be “an asset” in the UK’s fight against terror.
The Home Office has consistently refused to allow her and other Daesh members back into the UK, choosing instead to strip them of their British citizenship where possible.
It has said the security of British citizens trumps the needs of those Deash recruits detained by Kurdish authorities.