Former Islamic State (IS) bride Shamima Begum has told the UK that she can help fight terrorism in Britain “because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing”.
The 22-year-old, who fled her east London home for Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl, said she wanted to be brought back to the UK and face terror charges in order to prove her innocence.
She had her British citizenship stripped for travelling to the Middle East to join the terror group.
Asked for a message to Boris Johnson, Begum said that she could help the Prime Minister in “your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing”.
She told Good Morning Britain: “I want to say that you are clearly struggling with extremism and terrorism in your country. And I want to help with that with giving my own experience from with these extremists and what they say and how they persuade people to do what they do and 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.”
Begum added that while she believes the only crime she committed was being “dumb enough” to come to Isis, she still deserves a fair trial.
She said: “Honestly, the only crime I think I committed was being dumb enough to come to Isis, and even that can be refuted because I was 15 when I came, and you can’t, you know, judge a 15-year-old for making a mistake which he or she very quickly regretted making.
“If you really think I did do this, why don’t you bring me back and put me on trial, and hear my side of the story.
“If you if you honestly believe that, don’t you think I just have to go to jail for it.
“The fact that you think I should rather rot here, instead of face trial… the democracy that you live in, says that everyone deserves a fair trial.”
She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I am willing to go to court and face the people who made these claims and refute these claims, because I know I did nothing in IS (so-called Islamic State) but be a mother and a wife.
“These claims are being made to make me look worse because the Government do not have anything on me.
“There is no evidence because nothing ever happened.”
She said she would “rather die than go back to IS” and added: “The only crime I committed was being dumb enough to join IS.”
The 22-year-old, who had her British citizenship revoked by the Home Office over security concerns, appeared from the camp in Syria where she is being detained, wearing a Nike baseball cap, a grey vest, and with pink nail varnish on her hands.
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.”
In a direct plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Begum said: “I think I could very much help you in your fight against terrorism because you clearly don’t know what you’re doing.”
She added: “I want them (the British public) to see me as an asset rather than a threat to them.”