Shamima Begum buried son in 'wasteland' with a brick to mark his graveMarch 2, 2023
ISIS bride Shamima Begum reveals she still has some of her GCSE textbooks in Syrian detention camp and buried her son in a ‘gated wasteland’ with a brick to mark his grave
- Shamima Begum chatted to journalist Lucy Marley in the Syrian detention camp
- READ MORE: What are Shamima Begum’s options now?
Shamima Begum has revealed she still has some of her GCSE textbooks in the Syrian detention camp where she lives – and buried her son in a ‘gated wasteland’ with a brick to mark his grave.
The ISIS bride, 23, last week lost a bid to reverse the decision to revoke her UK nationality, but has vowed to appeal the verdict to try and allow her to return to Britain.
She was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls fled to join ISIS in February 2015, with Ms Begum marrying a 23-year-old ISIS fighter ten days after arriving in Syria.
Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by the former home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.
But speaking recently to journalist Lucy Marley from Roj Camp, via Cosmopolitan magazine, Ms Begum revealed how she buried her youngest child, Jarrah, who died in March 2019, in a ‘gated wasteland’.
Shamima Begum (pictured with her third child before his death in March 2019) has revealed she still has some of her GCSE textbooks in the Syrian detention camp where she lives – and buried her son in a ‘gated wasteland’ with a brick to mark his grave
She decided not to do a filmed interview – but did agree to talk about her son. He died following a lung infection after Ms Begum had already lost two other children.
Ms Begum showed the reporter the ‘gated wasteland’ where her son is buried, with bricks thought to act as tombstones for the dead, including the ISIS bride’s son.
More than 20 women and children are reportedly buried in the graveyard – and when authorities at the camp – which is run by the Syrian Democratic Forces – were questioned about it, they were said to have acknowledged the ‘problem’.
They reportedly added that they’re trying to find more space for a ‘new graveyard’.
Ms Begum said she only received her son’s official death certificate in November 2022 – and wasn’t aware of the exact location of where her youngster was buried until the summer last year.
Elsewhere, when talking about her school days, Ms Begum revealed she still has some of her GCSE textbooks in the camp.
Just last year, it emerged that Ms Begum told a journalist the death of her three children ‘doesn’t make me feel sad’.
However, on the latest episode of the controversial BBC podcast series, The Shamima Begum Story, she described the loss as feeling like ‘my entire world collapsed’.
The ISIS bride, 23, last week lost a bid to reverse the decision to revoke her UK nationality, but has vowed to appeal the verdict to try and allow her to return to Britain
She said she wanted to kill herself following the death of her young daughter – and only didn’t take her life because she was pregnant with her third child.
Ms Begum spoke of her experience as ISIS began to lose its stranglehold on Raqqa. The heavily pregnant mother, along with her husband and their two children made a beeline for Baghuz, the last stronghold of the jihadist group.
However, they quickly ran out of money and supplies, and in their desperation, often had to stay in guesthouses with women sleeping in corridors and children spreading diseases.
Ms Begum’s own son and daughter became increasingly malnourished and both died as infants.
Speaking of her daughter’s death on the podcast, Ms Begum said: ‘She was my world, she was my reason for living through everything, through ISIS and my husband’s abuse.
Just last year, it emerged that Ms Begum told a journalist the death of her three children ‘doesn’t make me feel sad’. However, on the latest episode of the controversial BBC podcast series , The Shamima Begum Story, she described the loss as feeling like ‘my entire world collapsed’
‘She just kept me going. I was living for her, I wasn’t living for anyone else but her. So when she died it was like my entire world just collapsed around me.
‘It’s hard to go from being a mother who has to wake up and do all these things for her kids to waking up and not having anyone who needs you.
‘The only reason I didn’t kill myself was obviously because I was pregnant with my second son. If I had not been pregnant I would have taken my life.’
READ MORE: PETER HITCHENS: Shamima Begum is being punished without a trial
Ms Begum brought a challenge against the Home Office at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), where her lawyers argued she should be allowed to return to Britain on the basis she was ‘a victim of child sex trafficking’.
However, the Home Office defended the decision by saying the security services ‘continue to assess’ that she poses a risk to the UK.
Last week, she lost a fresh legal challenge against the removal of her citizenship, with judges ruling that while there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ this was not enough for her appeal to succeed. Her lawyers have vowed to appeal the ruling.
She was backed this week by the Government’s terror watchdog, Jonathan Hall KC, who argued that British woman should be able to return to the UK from Syria.
In a speech in King’s College London, Mr Hall said the British Government’s policy of removing citizenship and limiting assistance it will give to British citizens in Syria, is ‘at a crossroads’.
He said the risk ISIS pose has changed and that the UK is now ‘under the spotlight’ as other countries begin to repatriate their citizens.
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Shamima Begum: From straight-A London schoolgirl to stateless jihadi bride
Ms Begum crossed into Syria with the help of a Canadian spy named Mohammed Al Rasheed, according to reports
Shamima Begum was a London schoolgirl until Scotland Yard raised concerns she and two of her fellow pupils had travelled to Syria in February 2015.
The now 23-year-old was just 15 when she travelled to Istanbul in Turkey from Gatwick Airport to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) with her close friends at Bethnal Green Academy – Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15.
Despite her family’s warnings that Syria was a ‘dangerous place’, the then teenager, described as a ‘straight A student’, crossed the border just days later with the help of a Canadian spy named Mohammed Al Rasheed, according to reports.
In a BBC podcast series, she said she was told to ‘pack nice clothes so you can dress nicely for your husband’.
Just ten days after arriving in the city of Raqqa, Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, was married to a Dutchman named Yago Riedijk, who had converted to Islam.
They had three children together, who all later died from malnourishment or disease. They were a one-year-old girl, a three-month-old boy and newborn son.
Ms Begum pictured with a Union Flag cushion in 2020. It was the first time she was seen without her usual black burka
Ms Begum left Raqqa with her husband in January 2017, but they were eventually split up, as she claimed he was arrested for spying and tortured.
She was eventually found nine months pregnant in a refugee camp in Al-Hawl in February 2019 by a Times journalist.
Ms Begum told the reporter it ‘didn’t faze me at all’ when she saw her first ‘severed head’, but would ‘do anything required just to be able to come home’.
But the runaway schoolgirl said she did not regret travelling to IS-controlled Syria, saying she had a ‘good time’.
The former Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said Ms Begum could expect to be ‘spoken to’ if she returned to the UK.
In the same month, she was stripped of her British citizenship after announcing her desire to return to the UK with her then unborn third child.
The move was deemed only permissible under international law if it did not leave her stateless.
Since then, the former IS bride has been embroiled in a battle with the British legal system – she lost her latest legal challenge over the decision to deprive her of her British citizenship on Wednesday.
Ms Begum described the initial move to revoke her citizenship as ‘unjust on me and my son’.
Sajid Javid said although he would never leave an individual stateless, his priority was the ‘safety and security’ of the UK.
Kadiza Sultana – who was killed in an airstrike – and Amira Abase, whose whereabouts are unknown
The then home secretary was criticised by Labour after Ms Begum’s son later died – with Diane Abbott describing the situation as ‘callous and inhumane’.
Ms Begum lost her first appeal to return to the UK but successfully challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal.
But the Government submitted a fresh appeal, meaning her return was put on hold pending a Supreme Court battle.
She was dealt a fresh blow when the Supreme Court ruled she could not come back to the UK – leading to her begging the British public for forgiveness.
When she appeared on TV screens in September 2021, she had drastically changed her appearance – wearing a Nike baseball cap, a grey vest, Casio watch and with her fingernails painted pink.
Ms Begum said there was ‘no evidence’ she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts and was prepared to prove her innocence in court.
She denied her Western physical appearance on Good Morning Britain – in stark contrast to the traditional Islamic dress she previously adorned – was a publicity stunt.
In the BBC podcast series released last month, she said she understood public anger towards her, but insisted she is not a ‘bad person’.
She told the podcast she accepted she is viewed ‘as a danger, as a risk’, but blamed her portrayal in the media.
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