Published: Mon, March 04, 2019

Dutch husband of ISIS bride Shamima Begum wants to take her home

Dutch husband of ISIS bride Shamima Begum wants to take her home

Yago Riedijk, 27, married Ms Begum in 2015 when she was only 15 and days after her arrival in Syria. However, Tasnime Akunjee, her United Kingdom lawyer, said fears that other jihadists' wives in the camp might harm her had prompted her move. But her apparent lack of remorse has triggered criticism in Britain and the family has expressed its own shock at her lack of repentance.

Riedijk told the BBC he saw nothing wrong with marrying Shamima because it was "her choice".

He added that she had seemed to be "in a good state of mind".

ISIS teen Shamima Begum should be allowed to go to the Netherlands, according to her Dutch husband, who is also a member of the terror group.

They married before she had turned 16 and Riedijk was 23.

The Dutch fighter, who claims he tried to leave the group after growing dissatisfied with their brutal tactics, faces a jail term of six years if he returns home, the BBC said. Along with Riedijk, she is believed to have fled Baghuz in Eastern Syria, and is now in a refugee camp near the Iraq border.

The BBC said Riedijk now wants to return to the Netherlands with his wife and son.

The teenager and her two-week-old son had been living in al-Hol camp in north-east Syria.


The Dutchman surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters, while Begum, now 19, and their newborn baby, Jarrah, wound up among thousands of people in a refugee camp in the country's north.

Bangladesh, however, dismissed that possibility, saying that Begum had been "erroneously identified" as a citizen by the United Kingdom government and that she had "never" visited the country. Obtaining a residence permit would be further complicated by Begum's personal history - she did, after all, run away to marry an Islamic State fighter, and the Dutch Justice Ministry recently said that Islamic State-affiliated women and children posed a "long-term potential threat" even though they were not trained and did not take part in hostilities.

"I made a huge mistake".

Ms Begum left the United Kingdom in February 2015 alongside Amira Abase, also 15 at the time, and Kadiza Sultana, who was 16.

Asked about her take on the particularly graphic atrocities the jihadi extremists are known to have carried out, Begum told The Times of London that seeing "beheaded heads" in bins "did not faze her".

Their newborn son though, might be entitled to Dutch citizenship through his father, she added. When asked by a Sky News reporter, "Did you know what Islamic State [ISIS] were doing when you left for Syria?"

Begum said she wants to be "an example of how someone can change" adding: "I want to encourage other young British people to think before they make life-changing decisions like this and not to make the same mistake as me".

The families of Amira Abase and Shamima Begum, three schoolgirls who fled to Syria to join ISIS, pose after being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, after pleading for them to return home, in London, England on February 22, 2015.

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