‘Narcissist’ Shamima Begum ‘sees herself as celebrity’, says filmmaker

Shamima Begum: BBC 'out of touch' with podcast says Slater

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A documentary filmmaker branded Shamima Begum “a narcissist” and said she sees herself as a “celebrity”. The 23-year-old former ISIS bride is currently languishing in a Syrian refugee camp, where she is appealing a decision by the UK Government to rescind her British citizenship. Ms Begum originally decamped to Syria to join the Islamic terrorists in 2015, when she was just a 15-year-old teenager.

She is alleged to have sewn bombers into their suicide vests while living inside ISIS-controlled territory, as well as acting as an enforcer for ISIS’s strict sharia lifestyle.

The BBC recently broadcasted a 10-episode podcast about her, bringing Ms Begum once again back into the public spotlight.

Andrew Drury has met and interviewed Ms Begum on several occasions while she has been detained in Syria.

He said he initially felt sorry for the former ISIS bride, but has radically changed his mind.

Speaking to The Times, he explained: “She sees herself as a victim now but she told me quite clearly it was her choice to go [to Syria] and she went of her own free will

“She is a narcissist. She wants to be a somebody. Now she sees herself as a celebrity.

“Being part of ISIS meant she was a somebody and now she’s a somebody again.”

Last July, Mr Drury argued that the British government had a responsibility to repatriate British jihadi brides like Ms Begum.

However, in September he had already changed his views about her, saying she was a “manipulative personality playing the victim card in an attempt to get back to the UK”.

At the time, he told The Sun: “After extensive face-to-face meetings and a slew of bizarre text messages, I am convinced she is a bitter, twisted character with deep psychological problems.”

The 23-year-old former ISIS bride claims she was a victim of trafficking, after she and two friends travelled to Syria in 2015.

She was married to Yago Rieddijk, a Dutch Muslim convert who was eight years older than her.

Four years later she was found in a Syrian refugee camp, pregnant with their third child.

She had previously lost two of her children to illnesses related to malnutrition and would tragically see her third child die as well.

Ms Begum was stripped of her British citizenship by the then Home Secretary Said Javid, days after she had claimed in an interview that she had been “unfazed” after seeing her first severed head.

A Special Immigration Appeals Commission is currently presiding over her case.

The Home Office has always maintained that Ms Begum knew what she was doing, while her lawyers argue she is a victim of sex trafficking.

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Her family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee told The Times: “The court of public opinion is not part of my jurisdiction.

“If she was trafficked within the terms of the Modern Slavery Act and the home secretary did not have this in mind, was the decision to strip her of her citizenship valid?”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government’s priority remains maintaining the safety and security of the UK.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst legal proceedings are ongoing.”

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