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Shamima Begum Was Member of ISIS ‘Morality Police’

Shamima Begum Was Member of ISIS ‘Morality Police’

Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 07:45
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
New testimonies have been added to the story of former British student at Bethnal Green School in London Shamima Begum, who ran away from her family to join ISIS at the age of 15.

Begum served in ISIS’s “morality police” (hisba) and tried to recruit other young women to join the terrorist group, Syrian witnesses have told ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ newspaper.

She was allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle and earned a reputation as a strict “enforcer” of ISIS’s laws, such as dress codes for women, the newspaper added.

Begum, now aged 19, has insisted she was never involved in ISIS’s brutality but spent her time in Syria as a devoted housewife to one of the group’s elements.

Begum’s case ignited a row in the UK following her arrival to a refugee camp in northern Syria in February.

British authorities stripped Begum of her citizenship and prevented her from returning to the UK, prompting her family to resort to law to allow her return.

She shouted at a Syrian woman in Raqqa for wearing colorful shoes, reported the Telegraph, adding that ISIS members in the city know her well.

“Don’t believe any of the bad things you hear about ISIS, it’s fake. You have everything you want here, and we can help find you a good-looking husband,” she wrote in a letter to one of the newly joined members.

Begum also stitched ISIS militants into suicide bomb vests so that they could not remove them in case the suicide bomber decided to back off, according to the Daily Mail.

Her name made headlines of Western newspapers when she begged to return to the UK despite insisting she had no regrets about traveling to Syria, joining ISIS, and evading condemnation of the targeting Britain.

Her family organized a campaign demanding to allow her return to Britain along with her newborn child, who died later and was buried in a refugee camp in Syria.

They have reportedly hired human rights lawyer Gareth Pierce, who once represented the radical Preacher Abu Qatada, to represent her.

Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who has represented the Begum family since 2015, was quoted in a report confirming that legal aid had been granted to Begum.

Akunjee said he passed on the case to Pierce after authorities at the al-Roj refugee camp, where Begum is staying, would not let him see her.

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