A TEENAGER who joined the Daesh (Islamic State) in Syria but now wants to return to Britain on Sunday (17) gave birth in a refugee camp.
Shamima Begum, whose fate has stirred controversy ever since she and two friends fled London to join the terror network in 2015 aged just 15, told Sky News she had delivered a boy.
“I just gave birth so I’m really tired,” the 19-year-old said as she made a renewed appeal to be allowed back to Britain with her newborn baby.
“I’m afraid he might even die in this camp. I feel a lot of people should have sympathy for me, for everything I’ve been through,” she said.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left. I just was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they let me come back,” she added.
Begum previously gave birth to two other children after marrying in Syria. Both children died.
Leading politicians, including interior minister Sajid Javid, have vowed to prevent her return, pointing to her lack of remorse for joining the terror group.
Writing in The Sunday Times — under the headline “if you run away to join ISIS, I will use all my power to stop you coming back” — Javid insisted the government should strip “dangerous individuals of their British citizenship”.
He said Britain had already exercised this power more than 100 times.
“In considering what actions need to be taken now, I have to think about the safety and security of children living in our country,” Javid wrote.
Begum told Sky News she was aware of IS’s brutal tactics, including conducting beheadings, but did not regret going to Syria.
“I knew about those things and I was OK with it at first,” she said. “They take care of you… you’re living under Islamic law.
“I don’t regret it because it’s changed me as a person, made me stronger, tougher.”
The teenager, who said she had had no contact with British officials, added the government should not block her homecoming because she was “just a housewife” while there.
“I never made propaganda, I never encouraged people to come to Syria.
“They don’t really have proof that I did anything that is dangerous,” she said.
Meanwhile, her family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, told the BBC that Begum is “damaged” and will need mental health support.
Begum is legally a UK citizen and she had still not been in contact with her family.
“Her family will always want to bring their child home and bring her to safety, and particularly the innocent grandchild that now is in existence,” said Akunjee.
“The family fully expect her to be quite damaged and so they would want an assessment around Shamima, and also as much help around her mental health and recalibration effectively into normal thinking as possible.
“In terms of any criminal proceedings, that’s something she invariably will face depending on what evidence is against her.
He added: “Clearly the family are most concerned not just to get her away [from Daesh] now but, as of yesterday, to make sure their grandchild – her child – is not influenced by that sort of thinking.”