Jihadi bride Shamima Begum cannot come back, Priti Patel says

By PA Reporter
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Jihadi bride Shamima Begum cannot come back, Priti Patel says

British Jihadi bride Shamima Begum has reportedly been told by Home Secretary Priti Patel to give up on any hopes of being allowed to return to the UK.

Ms Begum, now 19, left Britain to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria in 2015.

She later married Dutch-born Yago Riedijk and spent more than three years living under the group’s rule.

But in an interview last week, Ms Begum pleaded to be allowed to return home, saying her only role in the so-called caliphate was to “make babies”.

However, when Ms Begum’s request was put to Ms Patel, the Home Secretary replied: “No way, no way”.

Shamima Begum, then 15 at Gatwick Airport (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“Our job is to keep our country safe,” Ms Patel told The Sun newspaper.

“We don’t need people who have done harm and left our country to be part of a death cult and to perpetrate that ideology.

“We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.

“Everything I see in terms of security and intelligence, I am simply not willing to allow anybody who has been an active supporter or campaigner for IS in this country.”

Ms Begum has claimed she is suffering from mental health problems and that she now “hates” so-called IS following the death of her three babies.

The Home Secretary’s refusal to soften her stance on Ms Begum’s  coincides with the plea of another IS bride to be allowed to return home.

Tooba Gondal, 25, left her home in London to join the so-called caliphate in 2015.

During her time in Syria she married three times to a succession of IS fighters, all of whom are now dead, and gave birth to two children.

She and her three-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter are now being held in the Ain Issa camp in northern Syria.

Ms Gondal was previously accused of grooming young women online to become jihadi brides, and posted her support of the Paris terror attacks.

But in an interview with The Sunday Times, she branded so-called IS “criminals” and pleaded for her and her children to be allowed to return home.

“I know what the general public view me as, but I just want a chance to show everybody I’m a changed person,” she said.

She has now penned and open letter to the British people asking for forgiveness.

She writes: “I want to face justice in a British court. I wish to redeem myself. I would like Britain to accept my apology and to give me another chance.”

“I was forced at many stages to marry and I can’t say how many times I tried to escape.

“I wanted to leave from the start, but it became impossible. These criminals threatened to kill my babies.”