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A London schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State has described the bombing attack on an Ariana Grande concert as “retaliation”.
Shamima Begum, who yesterday gave birth to a son and begged to return to the UK, was one of a group of schoolgirls from Bethnal Green who went to Syria to marry IS fighters in 2015.
Since she was found in a refugee camp in Syria the teenager has given a number of interviews, the latest to the BBC in which she talked about the 2017 Manchester attack, and said she never wanted to be a “poster girl” for IS.
On May 22, 2017 suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi, 22, killed 22 people, including many children, as they were leaving the Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ms Begum conceded the terror attack was “wrong”, but said it was explained to her as “an act of retaliation”.
“It’s one thing to kill a soldier, it’s fine, it’s self-defence,” she told the BBC while comparing the bombing to military assaults in Syria.“But to kill people like women and children just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings – it’s a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now.
“It’s kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification.”
During the interview the teenager also lamented on becoming the so-called “poster girl” for IS, saying “the poster girl thing was not my choice”.
Ms Begum also begged for forgiveness and to be allowed back into the UK.
In an earlier interview with Sky News, she said she didn’t know what she was getting into when she left and now wanted to bring her baby back to Britain with her.
The boy is her third child, after she lost the other two.
“I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I’ve been through,” she said in an overnight interview.
“I just was hoping that maybe for me, for the sake of me and my child, they let me come back, the young woman said. “Because I can’t live in this camp forever. It’s not really possible.”
“I don’t want to take care of my child in this camp because I’m afraid he might even die in this camp,” she said.
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