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ISIS ‘breach’ should be treated ‘as a terrorist’ not ‘lost middle school student’: Security official

ISIS ‘breach’ should be treated ‘as a terrorist’ not ‘lost middle school student’: Security official

A former British counter-terrorism official has warned that the British woman who joined ISIS as a teenager should be treated like a terrorist if she returned home.

Shamima Begum, 22, left the UK in 2015 to join Islamic State in Syria. At the age of 15, she married a man who was later convicted of terrorist acts.

Since then, she has repeatedly asked to return to Britain and even offer to help the government fight terrorism.

However, Richard Walton, who served as head of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police between 2011 and 2016, said Thursday that Begum should see no relief and should be treated “as the terrorist she is.”

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“She is being treated as if she were a college student who lost on a beach in Thailand while actually being admitted to terrorist acts, even in the interview she gave yesterday,” Walton said in an interview with GB News. “She said she was affiliated with Islamic State, it is a banned organization, and if you sign up for a banned terrorist organization, you have committed a terrorist act.”

“So she should be treated like a terrorist and not like a lost middle school student.”

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Begum had appeared in “Good Morning Britain” on Wednesday morning to say her case that she could be “useful to society” and begged the government not to let her “rot” in a refugee camp, the BBC reported.

Walton reminded viewers that Interior Minister Sajid Javid at the time revoked Begum’s citizenship and stressed that “we should respect that decision.”

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Begum has repeatedly tried to return to the UK, including a push in 2019 that involved a request to return so she could care for her sick infant. The child died of pneumonia, and Begum said she had previously lost two children.

Begum stated that she was “sick” about her decision to join ISIS and that she “hates” herself for doing so.

“I’ve had these opinions for a very long time, but only now do I feel comfortable expressing my true opinion,” she said.

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Security agencies in the UK have stated that they do not believe Begum’s allegations that she was just “a mother and wife” and that she may have been involved in several ISIS activities, such as serving as part of the “moral police” and help sew suicide bombers in explosive vests, The Daily Mail reported.

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