Shamima Begum has begged the British people for forgiveness, saying there is “no evidence” she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts and is prepared to prove her innocence in court.
The 22-year-old, from east London, has had her British citizenship revoked by the Home Office on national security grounds, and is currently living in a camp in Syria.
It comes after she travelled with two other schoolgirls to Syria to join Isis in 2015.
In her first live TV interview, the former Isis bride told ITV’s Good Morning Britain she could be “an asset” in the fight against terror, saying she had been “groomed” to flee to Syria as a “dumb” and impressionable child.
She also said she was “pretty sure” Sajid Javid would change his mind about her citizenship - a decision he made while home secretary - if the pair met face to face.
But the health secretary defended the decision to revoke Begum’s citizenship as “absolutely right” and hit back at her claims that she played no part in Isis terrorism.
Good morning and welcome to our live coverage as former Isis bride Shamima Begum, who left the UK for Syria as a schoolgirl in 2015, gives her first live TV interview.
Follow our rolling coverage throughout the day as we bring you the latest updates and reaction.
Shamima Begum asks British public for forgiveness
Shamima Begum has asked the British people for forgiveness, saying in a TV interview that the so-called Islamic State’s (Isis) killing of innocent people is “unjustifiable”.
The 22-year-old former Isis bride has had her British citizenship revoked by the Home Office on national security grounds, and is currently living in a camp in Syria after travelling there from her home in east London as a schoolgirl in 2015.
My colleague Lamiat Sabin has the full story:
Begum denied being directly involved in preparations for terrorist activity
Sajid Javid defends stripping Isis bride of citizenship
Sajid Javid hit back at Shamima Begum's claims she played no part in Islamic State terrorism.
Referring to his decision while home secretary to strip Begum of her British citizenship, the health secretary said: "I won't go into details of the case, but what I will say is that you certainly haven't seen what I saw."
He added: "If you did know what I knew, because you are sensible, responsible people, you would have made exactly the same decision - of that I have no doubt."
Timeline of events since Shamima Begum fled to join Isis six years ago
My colleague Holly Bancroft has put together this timeline with the key dates and events of Shamima Begum’s story so far:
‘There is no justification for killing people in the name of God,’ Ms Begum has said.
Video: Shamima Begum says Boris Johnson ‘clearly doesn't know what he's doing’
Shamima Begum has claimed Boris Johnson “clearly doesn't know what he's doing” and should let her return to the UK to “help him in his fight against terrorism”.
Speaking to GMB, the 22-year-old Brit, who joined Isis in Syria aged 15, appealed to the prime minister directly, saying: “You are clearly struggling with terrorism and extremism in your country.
“I want to help by telling you my own experiences with these extremists with what they say and how they persuade people to come to places like Syria.
“I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing.”
Watch the full video here:
Shamima Begum told Boris Johnson to let her return to the UK and “help him in his fight against terrorism”.Speaking to Good Morning Britain, the 22-year-old Brit, who joined Isis in Syria aged 15, appealed to the prime minister.She said: “You are clearly struggling with terrorism and extremism in your country. “I want to help by telling you my own experiences with these extremists with what they say and how they persuade people to come to places like Syria.“I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing.”
Watch: Shamima Begum says she would ‘rather die’ than go back to Isis
Shamima Begum has said she would “rather die” than go back to Isis.
The 22-year-old said she was “manipulated and groomed” by Isis jihadis during an interview with Good Morning Britain.
Speaking from a refugee camp, the former Isis bride said she was “taken advantage of” when she moved from Britain to Syria aged 15.
“I would rather die than go back to ISIS,” Begum said after being questioned on if she would still be with the group had they not been destroyed.
She claims she was unaware Isis “was a death cult” when joining.
Watch the full video with her comments below:
Shamima Begum says she was “manipulated and groomed” by Isis jihadis during an interview with Good Morning Britain. Speaking from a refugee camp, the 22-year-old said she was “taken advantage of” when she moved from Britain to Syria aged 15.“I would rather die than go back to ISIS,” Begum said after being questioned on if she would still be with the group had they not been destroyed.She claims she was unaware Isis “was a death cult” when joining.In February of 2019, the British government revoked Begum’s British citizenship and stated that she would never be allowed to return.
Former Isis bride denies decision to stop wearing hijab was publicity stunt
Begum said the decision to stop wearing the hijab was one she took for herself and denied that the move was a publicity stunt.
She said: "I have not been wearing hijab for maybe more than a year now. I took it off for myself, because I felt very constricted in the hijab, I felt like I was not myself.
"And I feel like it makes me happy, to not wear the hijab. I'm not doing it for anyone but myself.
"I've had many opportunities to let people take pictures of me without my hijab on, but I did not."
‘No-one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I’ve done'
Begum said "no-one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done".
She told Good Morning Britain: "I know there are some people no matter what I say or what I do, they will not believe that I have changed, believe that I want to help.
"But for those who have even a drop of mercy and compassion and empathy in their hearts, I tell you from the bottom of my heart that I regret every, every decision I've made since I stepped into Syria and I will live with it for the rest of my life.
"You may forget about it one day but I will take it to my grave, this feeling of regret and this feeling of disgust at myself.
"No one can hate me more than I hate myself for what I've done and all I can say is I'm sorry and just give me a second chance."
Shamima Begum says she cannot go to Bangladesh because she would face the death penalty
When asked why she cannot go to Bangladesh as a citizen through descent, Shamima Begum told Good Morning Britain she would face the death penalty there.
She said: "I've never been to Bangladesh, I do not have claim of Bangladeshi citizenship.
"Bangladesh has already said that they will never let me back in and they said if I do ever come back in, it will be the death penalty for me."
Begum added: "How can a country like the UK, who does not believe in the death penalty, how can they expect me to go to a country where I will be killed."
Janet Street-Porter says she could ‘forgive’ Shamima Begum
Janet Street-Porter has said she could forgive Shamima Begum following her interview this morning.
The broadcaster argued the 22-year-old was only a child when she left the UK to marry an Isis fighter and that she was groomed by the terror group.
Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women, she said: “If a child is groomed, I think you have to understand the pressures that were on her.
“I’m not asking for sympathy for her now, but I can find it in my heart to forgive her, but I can see that bringing her back to England poses all sorts of problems.”
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