Shamima Begum Says She ‘Thought She Was Doing The Right Thing’ In First-Ever Live Broadcast Interview
Shamima Begum has said she thought she ‘was doing the right thing’ in travelling to Syria and showing support for the Islamic State group when she was a teenager.
Begum made her comments during her first-ever live broadcast interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain this morning, September 15, when she also asked people to forgive her actions.
Speaking to the hosts via webchat, she asked for forgiveness from the British people, claiming she ‘made a mistake at a very young age.’
Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria in 2015. She was born in the UK to parents of Bangladeshi heritage and was just 15 years old when she left.
Per the BBC, the student travelled via Turkey to the Islamic State headquarters in Raqqa and married a Dutch recruit, with who she became pregnant.
Speaking this morning, Begum said she knows it is ‘hard for British people to try and forgive [her] because they’ve lived in fear of ISIS‘, but stressed that she has ‘also lived in fear of ISIS and lost loved ones’.
She added: ‘I say from the bottom of my heart that I am so sorry if I ever offended anyone by coming here.’
Begum claimed she was ‘unaware of what ISIS had done in the UK and in other parts of the world’, and went on to claim ignorance on the topic of the Manchester Arena bombing, which killed 22 people in May 2017.
In the wake of the attacks, Begum claimed she believed the attack was justified as a form of retaliation as ISIS itself was being bombed, however, she said today that she does not believe ‘that one evil justifies another.’
Now, Begum says she ‘in no way’ agrees with what ISIS did and would ‘rather die than go back to ISIS’. She described the group as a ‘death cult’ and expressed her belief she was ‘groomed’.
The other two students who joined Begum on her journey to Syria have since been killed in separate bombing incidents.
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CreditsGood Morning Britain/Twitter
Good Morning Britain/Twitter