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Teen ISIS Bride Unfazed by Severed Heads Has Stockholm Syndrome, Says Family

TOPSHOT - A fighter with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) keeps watch near veiled women standing on a field after they fled from the Baghouz area in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on February 12, 2019 during an operation to expel hundreds of Islamic State group (IS) …
FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

Pregnant 19-year-old Islamic State bride Shamima Begum, who expresses no regret for joining the terror group but wants to come back to the UK to have her baby, has Stockholm syndrome, according to her family.

Following the story of the UK national jihadi who was found at a Syrian refugee camp and interviewed by The Times, the family of Ms Begum has suggested she is suffering from a psychological condition where she has adopted allegiances to her ‘captors’ as a survival mechanism which they say may explain her total lack of remorse.

“I thought she had realised the error of her ways,” Mohammed Rahman, the husband of the ISIS bride’s older sister Renu, told the newspaper of record.

“She will obviously have to change her views. You can’t do something that is in conflict with the values of the place where you want to come home to, and not show any remorse. I think that’s a fair expectation.”

“She has been there for so long, maybe the only way to make it through was to keep supporting [the ideology]. I can’t imagine people get there and think, this is nice, I’d like to stay. So it’s either [you] become depressed, or make something of the situation you are in,” he added.

While the lawyer for the Begum family has said that his client was a “victim of grooming.”

The Bethnal Green, London, resident left the UK of her own will in 2015 when she was 15 years old to travel to Syria to marry a Dutch national jihadist, who is currently being held by the Syrian Free Democratic Forces.

In an interview with The Times, she said she did not regret joining the terror group, and even apparently expressed some regret that the new Caliphate had failed, at one point casually describing seeing a decapitated head in a bin and saying, “it didn’t faze me at all.”

While liberals have said that as a British citizen, she should be allowed to return and be “rehabilitated”including the former head of MI6 who said Begum should be “given a chance” — security minister Ben Wallace said no Briton would be sent to risk their lives to “look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times that “if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad” he would use his available powers to “prevent your return,” with The Sun reporting its sources as saying that permanent exclusion is being considered, with her parents being immigrants from Bangladesh opening up the option of her being able to claim citizenship there, to avoid legal challenges over making her a ‘stateless’ person.

The other options being considered are prosecuting her in absentia for terrorism offences or bringing her to the UK to face investigation.

Also reported on Friday, The Mirror revealed that the first female British citizen found guilty of joining Islamic State has been released from prison last summer — after serving less than three years of her six-year prison sentence.

Tareena Shakil, 29, was jailed in 2016 after taking her toddler son to Syria to join Islamic State. The court was shown images of Ms Shakil brandishing firearms and she said she wanted to “die as a martyr.”

With the collapse of the Caliphate, the British government has been in a quandary over what to do with its British passport holders who had travelled to the Middle East warzone to fight for terror groups and who now want to return.

The Telegraph reported on Friday that the U.S. is allegedly considering sending UK national terrorists captured in Syria to the American military base Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, after becoming tired of the ‘soft’ approach of the UK, with the newspaper revealing that a number of returning Islamist guerrillas will not be prosecuted but have been placed on “secretive” government rehabilitation programmes.

It is believed that the U.S. government wants to prosecute two members of the so-called ‘Beatles’ London-based terror cell, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, with one U.S. official telling the newspaper, “These guys have American blood on their hands.”

Since Begum’s story broke, a 2018 petition to the government to ban “all ISIS members from returning to UK” has surged from tens of thousands of signatories to almost 160,000, with thousands more signatures being added every hour.

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