Where is Shamima Begum now?

SHAMIMA Begum fled to Syria in February 2015 and lived under Isis rule for more than three years before she was found.

Begum, now 23, claimed she was “groomed” by Isis jihadis while she was in Syria and has since been campaigning for a chance to return to the UK.

Where is Shamima Begum now?

As of September 2019, Begum had been imprisoned at the al-Roj camp – after coalition forces defeated Isis in Baghuz.

Begum claimed in a September 2021 interview with Good Morning Britain she had been “groomed” by members of ISIS.

She said: “I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims, because I know I did nothing in IS but be a mother and a wife.

“These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government do not have anything on me.

 Shamima begum is currently detained in Syria at al-Roj camp


Shamima begum is currently detained in Syria at al-Roj campCredit: James Longman/ABC News

“There is no evidence because nothing ever happened.”

She added: “I would rather die than go back to IS.”

Read More on Shamima Begum

Asked whether she was groomed by Isis, she said: “I think yes, I was groomed and taken advantage of and manipulated into coming.”

Speaking previously, the jihadi poster girl said she would rather be in a British jail so she could access education and psychiatric help.

She told the Daily Mail: “Mentally I am in a really bad way. I need therapy to deal with my grief. It is so hard. I have lost all my children.

“I have no real friends. I have lost all the friends who came with me. Now I do not have anyone.

Most Read in News

“I would like to be at home. There is more safety in a British prison, more education and access to family.”

“I hate these women and what they stand for and what they believe in and that they think they can terrorise anyone who does not share their views.”

Despite her plea, then home secretary Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship, making her “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent“, against which she has appealed.

In September 2019 her plea to be re-granted British citizenship was further rejected by Priti Patel, the current Home Secretary who said there’s “no way” she’ll be allowed back.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be permitted to return to the UK in order to fairly contest this decision.

However, the ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom – who, on 26 February 2021, ruled unanimously against her, reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal.

In a 2022 interview with i filmmakers, Begum said: “I want to be as British as possible.

”The problem is at the age of being a teenager you’re very arrogant and you don’t listen to people so sometimes you really do have to learn the hard way.

“I could be used as an example, like you don’t want to end up like her.

“If it stops children making the same mistake that I made of course use me as an example.

“Tell the kids ‘don’t be like her, don’t become like her.”

Despite her numerous pleas to return back to the UK, Shamima has admitted that she is prepared and expects to spend the rest of her life in Syria.

Will Shamima Begum return to the UK?

The Supreme Court ruled in February 2021 that the 21-year-old will NOT be allowed to return to the UK.

Begum cannot come back to Britain for a court case to reclaim her British passport due to concerns over the safety of the public.

Lord Reed said Begum’s attempt to reinstate her citizenship should be postponed until she is no longer considered a potential threat to Brits.

He said: “The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public.

“If a vital public interest makes it impossible for a case to be fairly heard then the courts cannot ordinarily hear it.

“The appropriate response to the problem in the present case is for the deprivation hearing to be stayed – or postponed – until Ms Begum is in a position to play an effective part in it without the safety of the public being compromised.

“That is not a perfect solution, as it is not known how long it may be before that is possible.

“But there is no perfect solution to a dilemma of the present kind.”

In January 2021, Begum’s lawyer said her bid to come home is “strengthened” by the court case victory of a 16-year-old girl who successfully claimed she was a victim of modern slavery.

What did Shamima Begum do?

Begum and two pals – Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – ran away to Syria in February 2015.

Begum used her elder sister’s passport to flee with her Bethnal Green Academy friends.

The trio flew to Turkey and then crossed the border into Syria with the aid of smugglers.

Within weeks of arriving, Shamima was married to Isis jihadi Yago Riedijk, 27, from Holland.

They had three children who died from malnutrition and disease.

The couple were separated as they fled Baghouz, the village where a few hundred Isis fighters are holed up in a desperate last stand.

Shamima ended up in a Kurdish refugee camp where she has gave birth to her third child, but this baby also passed away.

Eldest sister Renu revealed that her family had lost contact with her for the “longest time” until she was found by a Times journalist.

Begum was discovered by a Times journalist in a camp filled with refugees escaping the battle for the final Isis stronghold.

She said she walked away from the embattled village of Baghouz because she “could not endure any more”.

But she also said she did not regret joining Isis, boasting she had a “good time” under the terror regime and said seeing severed heads “didn’t faze me at all”.

 Map showing runaway jihadi bride Shamima Begum's journey in Syria
Map showing runaway jihadi bride Shamima Begum’s journey in Syria

What happened to her husband and children?

Shamima Begum is married to the convicted terrorist and extremist from the Netherlands, Yago Riedijk.

The couple had three childrenall of whom died.

Her youngest child Jerah died in 2019, shortly after their arrival to tal-Hol.

It appears they are no longer married although their status is not entirely clear.

In an interview in July 2021, Riedijk confirmed he was married to Begum and that the pair had agreed to a dowry.

It is understood that Reidijk is now behind bars in a Kurdish-run prison in Syria and has been added to an exclusion list.

When ex-squaddie Alan Duncan managed to track him down he told the Daily Record he had met Riedijk at an unspecified “intelligence centre”.

His precise location is not known.