Wednesday 20 October 2021

British jihadi bride, stripped of nationality, pins hope on Dutch husband


A young British woman who is being stripped of her British nationality because of her support for IS may make an appeal to the Netherlands because her husband is Dutch.

Shamima Begum is currently living in a refugee camp in Syria with her newborn baby son and wants the British authorities to bring her home. Now aged 19, she went to Syria with two friends when she was just 15.

She claims to be married to Dutch convert Yago Riedijk, 27, who is, according to The Times, being held in a separate refugee camp.

Britain apparently believes Begum can also make a claim on Bangladeshi nationality, so she would not be made stateless if efforts to remove her British nationality succeed.

However, in an interview with ITV, Begum said she did not understand why she is being treated differently to other IS supporters who have returned home.

‘My husband is from Holland, he has family in Holland so maybe if he gets sent back to Holland I can wait for him while he is in prison,’ she said.


Riedijk who is from Arnhem, joined ISIS in 2014 and reportedly married Begum within three weeks of her fleeing Bethnal Green in London for Syria in 2015.  According to Begum they had two other children, both of which died.

According to some reports, he has been sentenced to six years in jail in absentia. He was included on the Dutch terrorism watch list in 2016.

No return

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said earlier this week that the Netherlands has no intention of bringing back IS fighters despite US president Donald Trump’s call on European countries to do so.

‘The Netherlands is not taking any IS fighters,’ Blok said in Brussels on Monday, where he was attending a meeting of other EU leaders. ‘The president’s comments will not lead to a change in our standpoint,’ Blok said.

Around 900 foreign IS fighters plus some 700 women and 1,500 children are currently being held by the Kurdish Democratic Forces, according to news agency Reuters.

The NRC said their number includes four Dutch men, eight women and 15 children. The Dutch security service AIVD estimates 315 Dutch nationals have travelled to the conflict zone since 2013.

Worst case

Jason Walters, a American Dutch national and former radical Muslim who served eight years in jail for throwing a hand grenade at police, said allowing Begum into the Netherlands would be a ‘worst case scenario’.

‘The law should be changed to allow children to be separated from their parents in case of repatriation,’ the former member of the Hofstad terrorist group said. ‘Begum should never be allowed into the country.’

‘Deradicalization programmes’ are a major form of self-deceit and create a false sense of security,’ he said on Twitter.

‘It is impossible to change the views of people not willing to change. To give an example, in the Netherlands, from the former ‘Hofstadgroup’ only two people genuinely broke with the movement and renounced Islamic ideology completely.’

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