Filmmaker accuses ISIS fiancée Shamima Begum of ‘feigned remorse’ in BBC podcast series

Shamima Begum was only 15 when she left for Syria (PA) (PA Archive)

Shamima Begum was only 15 when she left for Syria (PA) (PA Archive)

Former ISIS fiancée Shamima Begum was accused of false remorse by a documentary filmmaker who came to meet her.

Ms Begum, from Bethnal Green, left the UK as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State in Syria and was later stripped of her British citizenship by the British government.

She fights to have it reinstated, claiming to be a victim of human trafficking.

Documentary filmmaker Andrew Drury, who spoke to the 23-year-old on several occasions, claimed Begum was a “narcissist” and questioned her remorse.

This comes as her path to joining ISIS is explored in the BBC’s 10-part podcast, I’m Not a Monster.

Ms Begum consistently claims she was groomed to join a terrorist group as a 15-year-old. In Syria, she gave birth to three children, none of whom survived.

She told the podcast that she accepts that she is seen as “a danger, as a risk” but blames her image in the media.

She said, “I am so much more than ISIS and I am so much more than anything I’ve been through.”

But Mr Dury told the Times newspaper: “She now considers herself a victim but has told me quite clearly it is her choice [to Syria] and she went of her own free will.

“She’s a narcissist. He wants to be someone. Now she considers herself a celebrity. Being part of Isis meant she was someone, and now she’s someone again.”

He claimed that she was trying to “create a character” and that she never mentioned the story of being “traded or prepared” to him.

The Special Immigration Appeals Board is expected to issue a ruling on her loss of citizenship by May. He is currently in a Syrian refugee camp.

In November, Begum’s lawyers told the commission that she had been recruited, groomed and trafficked to Syria before being sexually abused by an elderly man.

However, the Home Office says she went to Syria knowing about the atrocities of ISIS and that even if she had been smuggled, she could have remained a threat to Britain.

The BBC podcast, which launched this month, bills itself as “the ultimate narrative on this complex, nuanced and shocking story.”

But some critics questioned whether Ms Begum should be given the platform.

Tory MP Giles Watling, who sits on the House of Commons’ digital, culture, media and sport committee, asked if we should “give these people air time”.

A BBC spokesperson previously defended the podcast, saying: “This is not a platform where Shamima Begum can deliver her undisputed story.

“This is a solid public interest investigation that explores who Josh Baker really is and what she really did.

“We would also encourage people to listen to the podcast and make their own decisions.”

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