Shamima Begum, 19, fled to Syria in 2015 with two friends and claims she lived a “normal life”, but now realises it is oppressive.
A pregnant British schoolgirl who joined Islamic State in Syria says she does not regret fleeing the UK – but wants to come home so her baby can be looked after.
The girl, who says she is Shamima Begum, has revealed she is going to give birth to her baby “any day now”, having married a young Dutch IS fighter called Yago Riedijk three weeks after she arrived in Syria four years ago.
Security minister Ben Wallace told Sky News it was “worrying” she did not regret going, and that “people know what they’re getting into”.
The government’s position, he said, was that “actions have consequences”, adding that the public would be worried about people returning to a country “they apparently hate”.
The 19-year-old fled the UK in 2015 with two other friends, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, from Bethnal Green, and said she has been living “a normal life” in the caliphate, interrupted by “bombing and stuff”.
“Every now and again there are bombs and that, but just a normal life,” she told The Times from the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria where she is among 39,000 others who have fled fighting in the last IS bastion of Baghuz.
Around 20,000 civilians, mostly IS families, were evacuated before the town of Baghuz, near the Iraqi border, came under siege last week by coalition forces who have said it is the final “decisive” battle against IS.
Speaking confidently and seemingly without any fear for her situation, Shamima Begum said she had never seen an execution during her time with IS, “but I saw a beheaded head in the bin”.
“It didn’t faze me at all,” she added.
The trio of schoolgirls had followed another friend from their school, Sharmeena Begum, who fled to Syria in 2014.
Shamima Begum said when she arrived in Raqqa she was put in the “house for women”, where jihadist brides-to-be waited to be married.
“I applied to marry an English-speaking fighter between 20 and 25 years old,” she said.
She married Riedijk, from Arnhem, then shortly after her, Kadiza Sultana married an American, Amira Abase an Australian and Sharmeena Begum a Bosnian.
She revealed that she had already given birth to two children, but they died of sickness aged eight months and 21 months, and so she is now “overprotective” of her unborn baby.
Talking about losing her first two children, she said: “It came as a shock out of nowhere and was so hard.
“In the end, I just could not endure any more. I just couldn’t take it.
“I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp. That’s why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after.”