Shamima Begum has been told she is set to stand trial for terror offences. And the 22-year-old, who has been stripped of her British citizenship, is now worried that she could be executed if found guilty.
Begum, dubbed the ISIS bride after fleeing the UK at the age of 15 to join the terror group, has been living in Syrian refugee camps since attempting to get her British passport reinstated last year. The Mirror reports that she is likely to face prosecution after officials began investigating her links to ISIS.
Begum was one of three teenage girls who stunned the UK in 2015 when they travelled to Syria to become Jihadi brides. Begum has said she was groomed online before leaving the UK with friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana.
Among the allegations Begum faces is that she helped make suicide bombs for ISIS terrorists. The Rojava region is self-governed and is not under the control of the Syrian regime.
Begum’s friends say that she has little faith in the justice system there and remains desperate to return to Britain. A source told The Sun: “Begum has convinced herself she’ll pay the ultimate price if she is tried and found guilty of terrorism offences in Syria.
“She’s very frightened and concerned. She’s been told she will be put on trial in Rojava, probably as one of a group of women accused of terrorist offences.
“She hasn’t been given a date yet but has been told it will be in around September or October. Rojava authorities don’t advocate the death penalty but that has failed to convince her she won’t escape such a punishment.”
Last year Begum attempted to have her passport reinstated but she failed in her bid at the Supreme Court to come back to Britain to fight her case in person. Investigators in Rojava are believed to be looking at Begum’s claims, which have included her saying she was “not fazed” by seeing heads in bins.
Begum has insisted she “didn’t know ISIS was a death cult” and maintains she didn’t want to hurt anyone. Solicitor Tasnime Akunjee, who has previously acted for Begum, said: “I feel her fears are justified. The justice system there is somewhat meagre.”