Teenager Shamima Begum, who fled the UK to live with terror group Isis in Syria, is unlikely to change her extremist views, former neighbours claim.
Begum, 19, has pleaded to be allowed back to the UK despite Home Secretary Sajid Javid tearing up her citizenship earlier this week – something her family plans to challenge.
She fled her home in Bethnal Green, east London, along with two school friends, aged just 15.
Shamima Begum, 19, appears on ITV News – she says she is willing to change as a person (Picture: ITV News)Begum claimed this week that she is ‘willing to change’ as a person despite having said in previous interviews that terror attacks could be justified, including the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.
Senior figures in Bethnal Green’s Muslim community told The Times they supported Mr Javid’s decision to block her return.
One imam, who did not wish to be named said: ‘Those who go to extremism will not change’.
He added that she could potentially try and influence others with her rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Moulana Abdul Malik, 51, Imam at the Baitul Aman mosque, which is not far from where Begum grew up, also said the Government was right to act in the way it did.
He said: ‘It might not really be in her heart.
Begum with baby Jerah at the Syrian refugee camp – her family plans to challenge the Government’s decision to dispense with her citizenship (Picture: ITV News)‘People who are brainwashed may not have changed their habits – those who go to extremism will not change.
‘We think the decision taken by the Home Office was correct. I’m worried if Shamima Begum does return, she might influence other people.
Named: The child killers whose horrific crimes shocked the nation‘It would be dangerous for other young people.’
Begum recently gave birth to a baby boy, Jerah, and wants to be allowed back home.
She is currently staying in a Kurdish-controlled camp in Syria following the collapse of the ISIS caliphate in the country. Mr Javid did say in Parliament that her baby could be allowed back to the UK as he is British.
Begum left for Syria in 2015 with two other schoolgirls – they had all attended Bethnal Green Academy, which has since changed its name (Picture: ITV News)The baby’s father, Yago Riedijk, was convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation in the Netherlands in his absence last year, and surrendered to Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), when the caliphate fell, it is believed.
He was taken to a different camp from Begum.
A 30-year-old Muslim worshipper at the Burhan Uddin mosque in Buckfast Street, Bethnal Green, told The Times: ‘She’s taking the pi**s. She’s not saying, “I’ve been groomed, it was a mistake”.
‘She only wants to come home for the NHS, for the healthcare.’
Depraved paedophile ‘paid victims £2.50 as a reward’It has been claimed that Begum, who is of Bangladeshi origin, may have citizenship there. But Bangladesh’s minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam rejected this.
Meanwhile a petition to ban all members of Isis returning to the UK has gathered more than 550,000 signatures online.