Shamima Begum, who fled her Bethnal Green home in London aged 15 to join ISIS, claims her “only crime was going to Syria” and insists she “didn’t hate Britain”.
Speaking to Sky News from northeast Syria‘s Al-Roj prison camp, Begum said she wanted to go on trial in the UK.
The camp, where more than 700 foreign families who lived under ISIS are held — including up to 20 British women and their children — has lately experienced a rising level of violence, with several fires breaking out recently.
She explained: “For a long time it wasn’t violent but for some reason, it’s become scarier to live here.”
Begum, now 22, dubbed “all” the atrocities she is accused of carrying out “completely false”.
She complained: “I’m willing to fight them in a court of law but I’m not being given a chance.”
In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled Begum should be allowed to return to the UK to fairly contest the removal of her British citizenship.
But the ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court, which in February this year unanimously ruled against her returning to the UK to reclaim her passport on the grounds of national security.
She was promised paradise before her move and then found “hell, hell on Earth”.
After arriving in Syria, Begum married Dutch IS fighter Yago Riedijk, 29. They had three children, all of whom died.
She claimed that, despite them remaining officially married, she does not sympathise with him or miss him.
Speaking of her family, whom she is not currently in touch with, she said: “I don’t think they failed me.
“In a way, I failed them.
“When the time is right, I want to reconcile.”
She said: “I have hopes and dreams, things I want to do, to see.”
Begum, who has no “Plan B” if the Government doesn’t reverse its position, said: “It’s hard to think about a future when everyone tells you that you’re not going to go back.”