LONDON: Andrew Drury, a documentary filmmaker who met Shamima Begum in a Syrian refugee camp, describes her as a “narcissist” who sees herself as a “celebrity” after the recent media attention, The Times reported.
Drury has traveled to Syria several times to speak with the former teen Daesh bride. He admitted to being taken in by Begum when they first met, and that he felt “sorry” for her.
However, the filmmaker now says that he can see through the mask she is wearing for the cameras.
“She sees herself as a victim now, but she told me quite clearly it was her choice to go (to Syria) and she went of her own free will,” Drury told The Times.
“She is a narcissist. She wants to be somebody. Now she sees herself as a celebrity. Being part of (Daesh) meant she was a somebody and now she’s a somebody again,” he added.
In September, Drury told The Sun that the 23-year-old was a “manipulative personality playing the victim card in an attempt to get back to the UK.
“After extensive face-to-face meetings and a slew of bizarre text messages, I am convinced she is a bitter, twisted character with deep psychological problems,” he said.
Drury also told the Sun that Begum told him that the death of her three children no longer upsets her and that she had “moved on.”
Begum is currently appealing the UK government’s decision to deprive her of her British citizenship. She claims she was a victim of human trafficking after she and two friends traveled to Syria when she was 15 with the help of a Canadian intelligence spy.
Four years later, she was discovered pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp with her third child, with her first two having died of malnutrition-related illnesses.
In her first interview after being discovered, she sparked outrage by claiming that seeing “my first severed head in a bin didn’t faze me at all.” Days later, Begum’s citizenship was revoked by then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
In January, The BBC provoked a public outcry by launching a podcast series featuring Begum in which she defended her actions. The UK public service broadcaster has said the series is “not a platform for Shamima Begum to give her unchallenged story” but a “robust, public interest investigation.”