Father of ISIS Bride Who’s Begging to Come Home: Leave Her in Syria

“If the law of the land says that it is correct to cancel her citizenship, then I agree.”

The father of a woman who married an Islamic State fighter has backed the government’s decision to strip her of her British citizenship.

Ahmed Ali said his youngest daughter, Shamima Begum, is stranded in Syria because of her own actions: namely, running off to Syria to become an ISIS bride at age 15.

“I know they don’t want to take her back, and in this I don’t have a problem,” Ali told The Mail on Sunday from his home in Bangladesh. “I know she is stuck there but that’s because she has done actions that made her get stuck like this. I can’t say whether it is right or wrong, but if the law of the land says that it is correct to cancel her citizenship, then I agree.”

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Ali, 60, a retired tailor who moved from Bangladesh to the United Kingdom in 1975, said he was shocked that Begum — who had argued that the 2017 bombing of the Manchester Arena by an Islamic extremist was justified — showed no remorse about joining ISIS in a series of interviews last week with the British press. She also argued that the.

“If she at least admitted she made a mistake then I would feel sorry for her and other people would feel sorry for her. But she does not accept her wrong.”

Begum’s United Kingdom-based family has also condemned her comments but has written to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, asking him to bring back her newborn son, Jarrah.

In 2015, Begum and two other east London schoolgirls fled to Syria to become ISIS wives. Begum married a Dutch ISIS fighter named Yago Riedijk.

Since the fall of ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate, Begum, 19, has been living in a Kurdish detention camp and begging to be allowed to return to the United Kingdom along with her son, who she claims is too sick to make the trip without her. She is estimated to be among a dozen British ISIS brides in the Al Hawl camp in northern Syria.

After Javid revoked Begum’s citizenship last week, she expressed regret for speaking to the British press and claimed to be “willing to change.”

More than 900 people of national security concern have traveled from the United Kingdom to fight in Syria, the UK Home Office said. Some 20 percent have been killed while around 40 percent have returned to the United Kingdom. Most of the returnees came back earlier in the conflict and were investigated, according to officials.

In 2017, 104 people had their UK citizenship taken away, up from 14 in the previous year. The legality of the citizenship revocations has been challenged and is likely to be taken up by the UK High Court.

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By comparison, a relatively small number of Americans — as few as 59, according to data tracked by the George Washington University Program on Extremism — are thought to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS. The New York Times reported that it knows of at least 13 ISIS wives from the United States who are still in Syria, whereas almost all the captured male fighters have been repatriated.

The Times spoke with two American ISIS wives who arrived in Syria around the same time as Begum and are now detained in the same refugee camp. Hoda Muthana, a 24-year-old from Alabama, married three different ISIS fighters and explicitly urged domestic terror attacks to spill American blood, in 2015, tweeting “wake up you cowards.” She also tweeted that she was burning her US passport.

Muthana told The Times, “I don’t have words for how much regret I have.” She has said that she wanted to come home.

Begum’s father, Ali, who married a second wife in Bangladesh in the mid-1990s and splits his time between the two countries, said he last saw Begum two months before she left for Syria. He said he never saw any reason to worry that she was becoming radicalized, saying she was “not that Islamic-minded.”

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