Shamima Begum “stocked up on aero bars” before leaving the UK to join Isis

Shamima Begum, who fled Britain and joined the Islamic State group, was smuggled into Syria by an intelligence agent for Canada. Files seen by the BBC show he claimed to have shared Ms Begum's passport details with Canada and smuggled other Britons into fighting for IS. Ms Begum's lawyers challenged the removal of her citizenship, arguing that she was a victim of human trafficking.

Shamima Begum is at the center of a legal battle with the UK government to restore her citizenship (Image: BBC Archives)

Shamima Begum admitted she joined a terrorist group when she left London and traveled to Syria at the age of 15.

Ms Begum, now 23, was one of three British schoolgirls who moved to Isis territory in 2015.

When she was tracked down in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019 – just a month before the last territory held by the group fell – her British citizenship was revoked.

Speaking to the BBC for a new 10-part podcast series telling her story, Ms Begum recalled her trip out of the country for the first time.

The three girls were told to pack lightly, she said, but she found room for “about 30” Aero candy bars in her suitcase.

She said, “You can find many things in this country, but you won’t find mint chocolate.”

Within days of arriving in Syria, Ms Begum married a 23-year-old Dutch jihadist and later gave birth to three children, all of whom died in infants.

She told the BBC she understands that the public now sees her “as a danger, as a risk, as a potential risk to them, their safety and their way of life”.

Undated file photo of Islamic State bride Shamima Begum. A Canadian intelligence agent reportedly smuggled Shamima Begum and her two friends into Syria. Ms Begum fled her east London home to Syria as a 15-year-old schoolgirl with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) more than seven years ago. Issue date: Wednesday August 31, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Begum. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to concurrently depict events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Ms Begum was 15 when she traveled to Syria with two friends to join Isis (Image: PA)

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She was pictured going through security at Gatwick airport before her flight (Image: Metropolitan Police)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock (1103525a) Nestle Mint Aero Chocolate Bar Assorted

Ms Begum was such a fan of Aero candy bars that she stuffed 30 in her bag before her flight (Image: Shutterstock)

But she believes the anger directed at her is actually directed at Isis, saying, “When you think of Isis, you think of me because I’ve been brought into the media so many times.”

She said she’s “not a bad person,” adding, “I’m just so much more than Isis and I’m so much more than anything I’ve been through.”

Ms Begum is currently in a legal battle with the UK government to reinstate her citizenship.

Her lawyers have argued that the Home Office failed to recognize that she was a child trafficking victim when it stripped her of her status.

At a hearing last November, Samantha Knights KC said, “This case concerns a British child aged 15 who was coaxed, swayed and influenced with her friends by a determined and effective Isis propaganda machine.”

TV OFF. ALL BROADCAST SITES OFF. No cropping allowed. MANDATORY CREDIT: ITV Please note that video recordings should not be used more than 48 hours after the time of original transmission without the permission of the copyright holder. Video capture by ITV of Shamima Begum speaking to Good Morning Britain from al-Roj detention center in Syria. Issue date: Wednesday September 15, 2021. PA Photo. Ms Begum was 15 when she traveled to Syria with two other schoolgirls from east London in February 2015 to join the so-called Islamic State group. Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found nine months pregnant at a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019. See PA story POLITICS Begum. Photo credit should read: GMB/ITV/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may be used for editorial reporting purposes only to simultaneously illustrate events, things or people in the photo or facts mentioned in the photo caption. Reuse of the image may require further permission from the copyright owner.

Shamima Begum spoke to Good Morning Britain from the Syrian camp where she was living in September 2021 (Image: GMB/ITV)

However, government lawyers said she had traveled to ISIS-controlled Syria “with her eyes open” and still posed a threat to national security.

Speaking on the podcast, titled The Shamima Begum Story, the 23-year-old said: “I’ve always been a more private person.

“That’s why it’s so hard how my life has evolved in the media, because I’m not a person who gets a lot of attention.”

When asked if she thought the large amount of media coverage was the result of her joining Isis, she said: “But what is there to obsess over?

“We went to Isis, that was it, it was over, it was over and done, what more is there to say?

“They just wanted to continue the story because it was a story, it was the big story.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/11/shamima-begum-stocked-up-on-aero-bars-before-leaving-uk-to-join-isis-18077923/ Shamima Begum "stocked up on aero bars" before leaving the UK to join Isis

Justin Scacco

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