Shamima Begum was smuggled into Syria by a Canadian spy, classified files reveal

Shamima Begum, a British-born woman who joined the so-called Islamic State group in 2015 was found to have been smuggled into Syria by an intelligence agent for Canada.

The agent revealed as Mohammed Al Rasheed, claimed to have shared Ms Begum's passport details with Canada as he facilitated the smuggling of more Britons to fight for IS, the BBC reports.

Begum had her British citizenship revoked in 2019, citing security concerns, as her lawyers continue to challenge this decision, claiming she was a victim of trafficking.

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The now 23-year-old was just 15 when she was accompanied by two other East London schoolgirls as they fled the UK to travel to Syria in order to join the terrorist organisation in 2015.

It was confirmed to the BBC by an intelligence officer that Rasheed, who facilitated the journey of Begum and the two other girls to Syria was providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to IS.

Rasheed was arrested in Turkey a few days after smuggling Begum to IS and claimed he was passing information of those he smuggled into Syria to the Canadian embassy in Jordan.

He facilitated the travel of numerous British men, women and children to IS for at least eight months before he helped Ms Begum and her two friends as Begum admitted that she wouldn't have been able to make it to Syria without Rasheed's help.

Begum spoke on the I'm Not A Monster podcast as she said: "He organised the entire trip from Turkey to Syria, I don't think anyone would have been able to make it to Syria without the help of smugglers.

"He had helped a lot of people come in, we were just doing everything he was telling us to do because he knew everything, we didn't know anything."

Rasheed said he was promised Canadian citizenship in 2013, on the basis that he collected information regarding the operations of IS.

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He said: "They [Canadian Embassy] told me they were going to grant me my Canadian citizenship if I collect information about the activities of ISIS."

Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer for the Begum family, said he will be challenging the revoking of her British citizenship on the basis that then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid did not consider that she was a victim of trafficking.

"The UK has international obligations as to how we view a trafficked person and what culpability we prescribe to them for their actions," he said.

Mr Akunjee lambasted how the the importance of intelligence-gathering was placed over the safe-guarding of children.

"Intelligence-gathering looks to have been prioritised over the lives of children," he said.

Begum is now held in a detention camp in north-east Syria as she awaits a legal hearing in November.


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