ISIS bride Shamima Begum 'smuggled into Syria by Canadian spy'

Shamima Begum was smuggled into Syria by a Canadian intelligence agent, alongside her two friends, according to reports

Published

Ms Begum fled her east London home for Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join ISIS more than seven years ago.

She has denied any involvement in terror activities and is challenging a Government decision to remove her citizenship, while Ms Sultana was reportedly killed in a Russian air raid and Ms Abase is missing.

Mohammed Al Rasheed, who is alleged to have been a double agent working for the Canadians, is said to have met the girls in Turkey before taking them to Syria in February 2015.

Rasheed was reportedly providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to ISIS.

Shamima Begum
Shamima Begum
CTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Kadiza Sultana,16, Shamima Begum,15 and 15-year-old Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey
CTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Kadiza Sultana,16, Shamima Begum,15 and 15-year-old Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey

A Government spokesman said: “It is our longstanding policy that we do not comment on operational intelligence or security matters.”

In a forthcoming podcast, titled I’m Not A Monster, Ms Begum is quoted as saying: “He (Rasheed) organised the entire trip from Turkey to Syria… I don’t think anyone would have been able to make it to Syria without the help of smugglers.

“He had helped a lot of people come in… We were just doing everything he was telling us to do because he knew everything, we didn’t know anything.”

Prior to the report – published by The Times and the BBC – Ms Begum was found in February 2019.

She was nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp. Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly afterwards.

She decided to challenge the Home Office’s decision to remove her British citizenship and wanted to be allowed to return to the UK to pursue her appeal.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that “the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal”.

The Home Office challenged the decision at the Supreme Court four months later.

The Supreme Court ruled in February 2021 that Ms Begum should not be granted leave to enter the UK to pursue her appeal.

Last summer, during an interview, Ms Begum said she wanted to be brought back to the UK to face charges and added in a direct appeal to the Prime Minister that she could be “an asset” in the fight against terror.

She said she had been “groomed” to flee to Syria as a “dumb” and impressionable child.

Ms Begum said she married Dutch convert Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in ISIS territory.

She previously told The Times that she left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband but her children, a one-year-old girl and a three-month-old boy, had both died.

Her third child died in the al-Roj camp in March 2019, shortly after he was born.