Family: UK Teen who Joined ISIS has Baby Boy in Syria Camp

Sunday, 17 February, 2019 - 17:30
Asharq Al-Awsat

The family of Shamima Begum, a British teenager who ran away to join ISS and now wants to return to the UK, said Sunday she has given birth to a baby boy.

The family's lawyer said 19-year-old Begum and the baby are in good health. In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, Begum said she had previously lost two babies to illness and malnutrition.

Begum was one of a group of schoolgirls from London's Bethnal Green neighborhood who went to Syria to marry ISIS extremists in 2015 at a time when the group's online recruitment program lured many impressionable young people.

Speaking to Britain's Sky News from Syria, where she has been living in a refugee camp, Begum said she didn't know what she was getting into when she left and wants to bring her baby back to Britain with her.

"I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I've been through," she said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"I just was hoping that maybe for me, for the sake of me and my child, they let me come back, the young woman said. "Because I can't live in this camp forever. It's not really possible."

"I don't want to take care of my child in this camp because I'm afraid he might even die," she said.

Begum said she had been only a "housewife" during her time with ISIS militants.

"I never did anything dangerous. I never made propaganda. I never encouraged people to come to Syria. So they'd only have proof I didn't anything that is dangerous," she said.

She added she had been "OK with" beheadings carried out by ISIS adherents.

News about Begum and her desire to go back to Britain have ignited a debate in the UK about how to deal with citizens who joined ISIS and want to leave Syria now that the extremist group is on the verge of collapse.

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