Jihadi bride Shamima Begum has given birth to her baby in Syria, claiming people should ‘have sympathy for her’ and she should be allowed to return to Britain.
The 19-year-old was found in a refugee camp in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria last week, where she today appeared being interviewed on Sky News next to a woman in a niqab holding the newborn child.
She said: ‘I didn’t know what I was getting into. I didn’t do anything dangerous. I was just a housewife for four years, looking after my husband and my kids.’
Her emergence sparked furious debate and legal wrangling over what the government can and can’t do to British citizens who fled to the war-torn country and now want to come back.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, who previously served as attorney general, said today that Britain was ‘obliged’ to take back British citizens.
But David Gauke conceded Shamima may be able to return to the UK because ‘we can’t make people stateless’.
Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, said he would use all his powers to stop British citizens who joined ISIS from returning.
Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer representing the families of the Bethnal Green schoolgirls who travelled to Syria in 2015, said that Mr Javid may have conceded he is unable to stop her entering the UK.
An older woman holding the newborn baby boy as Shamima Begum talks to Sky News today, just hours after the birth
Shamima Begum, 19, is pleading with the government to allow her back into the country, with her family saying that they would raise her child
He told MailOnline: ‘Sajid Javid has conceded he can’t stop her coming back. It looks like he reviewed his powers and discovered he doesn’t have any powers.’
Mr Akunjee said he found out about the birth via a short phone call from another refugee in the camp and that both mother and baby are ‘both healthy’.
He said: ‘They are both healthy, she gave birth sometime last night, but I don’t have any more information than that.’
Announcing the birth today, Mr Akunjee posted on Twitter that Shamima had given birth to a son sometime last night.
He wrote: ‘We the family of Shamima Begum have been informed that Shamima has given birth to her child, we understand that both she and the baby are in good health.
‘As yet we have not had direct contact with Shamima, we are hoping to establish communications with her soon so that we can verify the above.
‘We understand that both she and the baby are in good health. As yet we have not had direct contact with Shamima, we are hoping to establish communications with her soon so that we can verify the above.’
He then followed up the statement with a tweet saying just, ‘It’s a boy’.
Speaking to Sky News just hours after the birth of her son, Shamima, said she was scared her baby would be taken away if she returned to Britain.
She spoke to a TV crew, with what appeared to be her new-born son being rocked by an older woman in a niqab.
Ms Begum’s family believe that they would be able to ‘fix’ her if she was allowed back into the UK
The teenager said: ‘I don’t know what I would be able to do [if i came back to the UK], there might be restrictions on what I could do and where I could go.
‘I don’t know if they will take my baby away or what will happen. That’s my main priority at the moment – my child.’
She said: When Kadiza [Sultana, a fellow schoolgirl who travelled to Syria] died the situation was normal in Raqqa. It came as a big shock.
When asked if she regretted travelling to Syria and joining the so-called caliphate, Shamima said she it made her stronger’.
Asked if she made a mistake, she added: ‘In a way yes, but I don’t regret it because its changed me as person. It’s made me stronger.
‘I wouldn’t have found someone like my husband in the UK. I had my kids, I had a good time there.
‘But it was hard in the end I couldn’t take it anymore. Husband doesn’t know about the baby. I don’t know where he is. I don’t know if they would let me contact him.
‘I don’t have my phone, I don’t have the internet.’
The birth of Shamima’s baby boy comes as ISIS is being swept from the territory the militant group previously controlled.
US-back Syrian forces have been clearing the remaining militants from the villages of Baghouz and Shajalah
Facebook picture of Dutch ISIS fighter Yago Riedijk (now aged 26 and detained in Syria) and husband of Shamima Begum, taken in 2011
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told Andrew Marr: ‘I think it’s clear that if you’re dealing with a British citizen who wants to return to this country – and they’re not a dual citizen, so their only citizenship is British citizenship – then we are obliged at some stage at least to take them back.
‘That doesn’t mean that we can’t put in place the necessary security measures to monitor their activities and make sure that they are not misbehaving.
‘It doesn’t mean either that we can’t seek to hold them to account for their behaviour thus far.’
He said the nationality of Shamima Begum’s baby was a ‘difficult question’, but added: ‘What really matters I think is to determine what should happen instantly and urgently to her because we do have to be concerned about the health of that baby, we have to be concerned about her health too.
‘But in the end she will have to answer for her actions. So I think it is right that if she’s able to come back to the UK that she does so but if she does so she will do it on the understanding that we can hold her to account for her behaviour thus far.’
Jacob Rees-Mogg said on BBC Question Time that ‘we should have sympathy’ for Shamima.
The schoolgirl married Yago Riedijk, 26, a Dutch Muslim convert, and had two children who died as babies.
She had married him three weeks after she arrived in the country in 2015 aged 15.
The family of Shamima asked the government to give them custody of her unborn child if she is allowed to return to the country and given a prison sentence.
The pregnant 19-year-old, from Bethnal Green, is afraid her child will be taken away from her if she does return to Britain.
Her family are now urging the government to let them have the baby to avoid putting the burden on the taxpayer.
Ms Begum, whose baby is due to be born any day now, has previously failed to show any remorse for fleeing Britain in 2015 and joining ISIS.
Family of second ISIS bride begs her to return to Britain for safety of of her young daughter
The family of another British schoolgirl who travelled to Syria aged 16 have begged her to return to the UK so her two-year-old daughter can be safe.
Sumaiyyah Wakil became an ISIS bride aged 16 when she left her Hampshire home and travelled to Syria in August 2014.
The teenager left her family a handwritten letter begging them not to alert the police to her journey.
Now aged 21 and with a young child, her family are desperate for her to return to Britain for the safety of her daughter.
She told her family she travelled to the war-torn country to help those suffering during the fighting and expressed ‘anger’ about ‘the state of the Islamic community’.
Her brother, Salim Wakil, was jailed for 30 months at the Old Bailey earlier this month for funding terrorism.
While there, she married Dutch Muslim convert Yago Riedijk and bore him two children who both died as babies.
Her brother-in-law, Muhammed Rahman, 36, whose twin brother is married to Renu Begum, Shamima’s older sister, said today when asked about the birth: ‘I don’t know. I have no idea.’
He told the Sunday Telegraph in an earlier interview that it was ‘in their culture’ to look after the child if Ms Begum was unable to, before explaining that the ISIS bride would feel better if her parents were looking after the newborn if she was jailed.
Shamima Begum has begged to be allowed to come back to the UK to have her baby
After serving any sentence, Ms Begum could then be reunited with her child, added her relative.
Earlier, her family called for the government to bring her back ‘urgently’.
Her parents added that her unborn baby is a ‘total innocent’ who has the right to grow up in the ‘peace and security’ of the UK.
Ms Begum was one of three Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls who joined the terrorist group four years ago.
The Government has indicated it will not allow her to return but her family said they would now be consulting a lawyer.
Electrician Mr Rahman added that her family are seeing legal advice to try and force the government to allow her to return.
Ms Begum’s family accept that she may be persecuted and have to undergo intensive rehabilitation but add that she should not be barred from her home.
President Donald Trump demands Europe take back hundreds of ISIS fighters
Donald Trump said European countries should take back ISIS fighters and put them on trial
US president, Donald Trump demanded Europe ‘take back’ and lock up some 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria.
He warned the US would be forced to release the terrorists back into Europe if they were not locked up in their own countries.
Prsident Trump tweeted that the ISIS fighters captured in Syria must be taken back and and put on trial.
The US president wrote: ‘The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.’
‘The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.
‘We do so much, and spend so much – Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!’
Trump was referring to the ‘800 foreign terrorist fighters’ that are now being held by the American-backed, Kurdish-dominated Syria Democratic Forces.
Many of these ISIS fighters come from European countries, and the Kurdish-led SDF wants these nations to take their nationals off their hands.
But with American forces about to withdraw from Syria, there is concern as to what will happen to these detainees if Turkey – as expected – attacks Kurdish-held areas.
Mr Rahman also admitted that her family realise why so many people are against Ms Begum’s return to the country, but stressed that she was 15 when she left and had ‘surely been brainwashed’.
He also insisted that ‘some sort of rehabilitation’ should be tried and that her family want to be reunited again.
In an impassioned call, he said that people in the UK could show that they are ‘compassionate’ and ‘look for the best in people’.
Mr Rahman repeated that the family were stunned when they learned about Ms Begum’s move to Syria and that they would have stopped her if they knew what was happening.
Ms Begum’s parents believe that they can ‘fix’ her if she is allowed back in to the UK, he said.