Shamima Begum admits looking to befriend IS terrorists online before fleeing to Syria

Shamima Begum admits she looked online to find Islamic State supporters before fleeing to Syria
Shamima Begum admits she looked online to find Islamic State supporters before fleeing to Syria

Jihadi bride Shamima Begum admits she sought out Islamic State (IS) supporters online before running away to Syria

Published

Shamima Begum has said she and her friends looked online for Islamic State (IS) supporters before she travelled to Syria.

The 23-year-old fled the UK aged 15 with two school friends to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group in 2014.

Begum had her British citizenship revoked after she resurfaced in a refugee camp in 2019.

Kadiza Sultana,16, Shamima Begum,15 and 15-year-old Amira Abase at Gatwick airport
Kadiza Sultana,16, Shamima Begum,15 and 15-year-old Amira Abase at Gatwick airport

She continues to be held at the al-Roj camp in northern Syria awhile she launches a legal challenge agains the UK Government for revoking her citizenship.

Speaking in a podcast she has now admitted she had now admitted that she had searched for Turkish phrases in advance of leaving Britain and agreed “it was” very planned out.

When asked how she planned to flee the UK she said: “People online telling us and advising us on what to do and what not to do.

"Just how to get the money to buy the tickets, where to buy the tickets, which airport to go to, what to bring, what to wear when you’re going to the airport.

"Who to talk to, who not to talk to, what excuse to make if you do get caught. It was a long list of detailed instructions."

She made the claims in the first episode of a new the weekly BBC podcast.

When Begum was asked about how she knew about the travel costs of getting to Syria and Turkish phrases, she replied: “We looked it up online.”

In a legal appeal last year, she claimed she was trafficked and coerced abroad.

The BBC say the podcast would give Ms Begum’s “full account” of “what really happened” when she disappeared from her London home in 2015.

The broadcaster added: “This is not a platform for Shamima Begum to give her unchallenged story. This is a robust, public interest investigation into who she really is and what she really did.”

Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum holds her sister's photo
Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum holds her sister's photo

The jihadi bride tells the podcast how IS members fed her detailed instructions about how to avoid detection during her journey to Syria, but says she is longer a threat to national security.

“[People perceive me] as a danger, as a risk, as a potential risk to them, to their safety, to their way of living,” she said.

Adding: “I’m not this person that they think I am being perceived as in the media, you know I’m just so much more than Isis and I’m so much more than everything I’ve been through.

“I’ve always been a more secluded person. That’s why it’s so hard the way my life has turned out being all over the media because I’m not a person that likes a lot of attention on me.”