Shamima Begum begs for forgiveness in first ever live TV interview

·4-min read

Shamima Begum has begged for the UK Government to put her on trial for terror charges if it means she can return to the UK.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain live from a refugee camp on Wednesday, the 22-year-old wearing pink nail varnish, a Nike baseball hat and a grey vest offered to help Boris Johnson tackle terrorism because he “clearly doesn’t know what he is doing”.

She said: “I think there is a chance and that the Government can see I’m willing to help them in their fight against terrorism. They should see me as an asset instead of a threat to them.”

Susanna Reid quizzed her on reports that she had been seen sewing on suicide vests to terrorists so they couldn’t be removed without detonating - one of the main reasons her British citizenship was revoked.

Begum said: “No, I did not do this thing I have been accused. If you really think that I did this then why don’t you bring me back and put me on trial.

“These accusations have been leaked to media.

“It was so easily leaked to the media it was made for the media, not the Government.

“The Government knows the truth and knows I did nothing wrong.

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“I would accept [going to jail]. If I was given a fair trial. And given a chance to tell my side of the story. And the judge said I need to go to jail then I would accept that. I want to live in a democracy.

“But honestly the only crime I committed was being dumb enough to join Isis.”

Co-host Richard Madeley grilled Ms Begum on her 2019 comments that the Manchester Arena attack was “justified” because of airstrikes that killed civilians in Syria.

Asking her if she changed her view, Begum replied: “I do not believe that one evil justifies another evil.

The only crime I committed was being dumb enough to join IS

Shamima Begum

“I don’t think that women and children should be killed for other people’s motives and agendas. “I didn’t know about the Manchester Bombings when I was asked I didn’t know that women and children were killed.

“I had no connection to the outside world when I was in Isis. I didn’t have a phone, my husband couldn’t use the internet.

“So we were really unaware of anything going on outside. We were only aware of what was going on in the Middle East. I know it is hard for some people to believe.”

Richard Madeley asked her why she decided to stay in the terror group after Begum claimed she would “rather die” than return to Isis.

Shamima Begum, then aged 15, was caught on CCTV at Gatwick airport on her way to Syria (PA Media)
Shamima Begum, then aged 15, was caught on CCTV at Gatwick airport on her way to Syria (PA Media)

She told him: “It was not possible to leave at all. You had to find connections and even then those connections could be fake Isis police trying to find people trying to leave so they could put them in prison.

“My husband was being watched very closely by Isis he couldn’t even use a phone or go to an internet café so how can we find connections to leave?

“You had to have a lot of money and we didn’t have access to that money to enable us to leave.”

She claimed online groomers targeted her because she was young and pitched to her an Islamic Paradise.

She added the Isis recruiters made her feel bad for staying with her parents who were not practicing Muslims at the time and “they were going to save her from the West”.

She denied she was wearing Western clothes as a cynical ploy to get forgiveness from British people claiming she ditched the Hijab over a year ago because she felt “constricted” and not herself in the religious garment.

Asking for forgiveness, she said: “I know it’s very hard for the British people to try and forgive me because they have lived in fear of IS and lost loved ones because of IS, but I also have lived in fear of IS and I also lost loved ones because of IS, so I can sympathise with them in that way.

“I know it is very hard for them to forgive me but I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here, if I ever offended anyone by the things I said.”

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