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IS bride Shamima Begum: I am willing to change

Sky News logo Sky News 21/02/2019

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Islamic State bride Shamima Begum has told Sky News she is "willing to change" as she asked for "mercy" from politicians after being stripped of her UK citizenship.

The 19-year-old - who wants to return to Britain from Syria - said her newborn son is unwell and she will not allow him to return to the UK alone.

In an interview with Sky correspondent John Sparks, she said: "I am struggling to get my supplies in right now.

"I don't have a card because they lost my card, so I have to run around to take care of my son now, when I am sick. I am not getting my stuff."

a person wearing a hat: Shamima Begum - the schoolgirl who fled London to join the Islamic State group in Syria - has said she never wanted to be an IS "poster girl".

Ms Begum told the BBC she wants the UK's forgiveness, adding: "I actually do support some British values."

She said it was "wrong" innocent people died in the Manchester attack, but added: "It's a two-way thing... kind of retaliation" because IS was targeted.

Ms Begum, 19, left Bethnal Green four years ago with two school friends. © BBC Shamima Begum - the schoolgirl who fled London to join the Islamic State group in Syria - has said she never wanted to be an IS "poster girl". Ms Begum told the BBC she wants the UK's forgiveness, adding: "I actually do support some British values." She said it was "wrong" innocent people died in the Manchester attack, but added: "It's a two-way thing... kind of retaliation" because IS was targeted. Ms Begum, 19, left Bethnal Green four years ago with two school friends. Asked if she had anything to say to British politicians, Shamima Begum said: "I would like them to re-evaluate my case with a bit more mercy in their heart, you know."

Asked if she can change or be rehabilitated, she replied: "I am willing to change."

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has insisted Shamima Begum will not be left "stateless" - something which is banned under international law - after her UK citizenship was stripped, amid speculation that she is a dual British-Bangladeshi national.

Gallery: 13 intense images of the rise and fall of IS (Business Insider)

After the Bangladeshi government claimed she is not a Bangladeshi citizen, Shamima Begum said she had no desire to go to the country.

She said: "I don't have anything there, another language, I have never even seen the place, I don't know why people are offering that to me."

Shamima Begum has previously told Sky News she was "okay" with beheadings by IS and claimed in another interview that the Manchester Arena terror attack was "retaliation" for bombings in Syria.

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Asked if she had reflected on her remarks this week, she replied: "No not really, because I have busy with my son, he is sick, I can't do much for him."

Following his latest interview with Shamima Begum, Sparks said the conditions at the Syrian camp where she is staying were "poor".

"I watched as residents begged for food, medicine and assistance in a multitude of different languages," he said.

Sparks said there was a section of the sprawling camp for members and associates of IS - including women from France and Trinidad and children - with about 1,500 people inside.

"These women were drawn to a utopian fantasy propagated by Islamic State but it's ended in de-facto imprisonment and no-one knows how long they will have to stay," he added.

Renu Begum, sister of teenage British girl Shamima Begum, holds a photo of her sister as she makes an appeal for her to return home at Scotland Yard, in London © Reuters Renu Begum, sister of teenage British girl Shamima Begum, holds a photo of her sister as she makes an appeal for her to return home at Scotland Yard, in London Kurdish forces running the camp want countries such as the UK to take their citizens away, but the regional commander at the site said no-one from the British government had contacted them, Sparks said.

Despite stripping Shamima Begum of her UK citizenship, Mr Javid has suggested that the rights of her newborn son were unaffected, saying that "children should not suffer".

The teenager, from Bethnal Green in east London, fled to Syria aged 15 and married a Dutch IS fighter three weeks after her arrival.

The vast majority of the British public support the government's decision to strip her of her British citizenship, according to a Sky Data poll.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said revoking Shamima Begum's UK citizenship was "not the right thing to do" and claimed she "should be brought back" to Britain.

He told Sky News: "She should be brought back, she should be questioned over everything that has gone on and whatever action that has to be taken [should be] taken after that."

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