Shamima Begum was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green, U.K., who left the country to join ISIS. She claims that during her four years in the group, which she left home for at the age of 15, she has been a peaceful, loyal housewife to an extremist fighter.
But new sources have informed The Telegraph of otherwise. Begum, age 19, is said to have carried a Kalashnikov rifle wherever she went and to have been a strict "enforcer" of ISIS laws, including a stringent female dress code.
Begum was discovered in a northern Syrian refugee camp in February, sparking a public outcry. She claims to have devoted her time to raising her children, who subsequently died due to malnourishment.
Her husband, Dutch extremist Yago Riedijk, gave a similar account and said that she "sat in the house." According to him, she poses no threat if allowed back into the United Kingdom.
According to The Telegraph, Begum, along with Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, received rigorous "military and religious training" before joining the Khansaa Battalion, a notorious "police squad" of women that included a handful of other British members.
She is alleged to have moved to ISIS's Hisba, or religious enforcement unit, in which women joined voluntarily in exchange for a higher position in the caliphate.
“Members of our group from Raqqa knew her well,” said Aghiad al-Kheder, founder of anti-ISIS activist organization Sound and Picture. “If you get the chance to interview her again you can ask her about an incident that happened in al-Amassi Street in Raqqa in 2016, when she was with the Hisba.
“She shouted at a civilian woman wearing brightly coloured shoes and told her that was ‘haram’, or not permissible, as this would attract the attention of men. The woman said to her, ‘so why is it ok for you to wear coloured shoes?’ Shamima was herself wearing white and pink trainers,” he said.