Inside Shamima Begum’s life in terror state that ISIS bride claimed was ‘normal’

As Shamima Begum made her plea to return to UK after four years living in a terror state she asked people to take pity on her.

The ISIS bride – who fled to Syria aged 15 – said she wanted people to "have sympathy" for what she had been through.

The horrors of life in the terror state are well-documented but the now 19-year-old has also described it as "normal".

This was despite her admitting to having seen severed heads discarded in a bin – and being told one of the girls she fled with was reportedly killed in an air strike.

But the mother of three claimed her time was largely spent as a "housewife" who "stayed at home" and "took care of her kids".

She denied ever doing "anything dangerous" and said she only had second thoughts when her son died – the first of the two children she has lost.

She told The Times from the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria where she is among 39,000 others: "Every now and again there are bombs and that, but it’s just a normal life.”

"I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp."

Before ominously adding: "When I saw my first severed head it didn’t faze me at all."

The teenager’s depiction of her life as "normal" is in stark contrast to the brutal tales to emerge from the terror state.

The savage beheadings of hostages carried out by ‘torture squads’ had already appalled the world by the time Begum fled Bethnal Green.

Amongst those executed was British aid worker Alan Henning, whose brother Paul branded the ISIS bride "evil scum" for her plea to return to Britain

Months after the schoolgirl fled London with two friends, three former ISIS brides revealed how they were tied up, gang raped and burnt with cigarettes on a regular basis.

One called Munira told how she was raped at 15-years-old by a man four times her age.

Yet, others have come forward to reveal how women in all-female jihadist cells would also torture victims.

One deserter of a torture gang – the Al-Khansaa brigade – revealed how the female "religious police" would use a biting tool with a metal clamp that cuts flesh.

Three weeks after arriving in Syria, Shamima married Dutch terror fighter Yago Riedijk and was living in the "caliphate’s" de facto capital.

Speaking from a refugee camp this month, she said her life was similar to what she had seen in "propaganda videos".

"It’s a normal life but every now and then there are bombs and stuff,” she said.

Although she said she didn’t witness any executions, she unemotionally recalled seeing a "beheaded head in the bin".

During her time in Raqqa, one of the other girls who fled with her, Kadiza Sultana, was reported to have been killed in an airstrike.

Over the two years she was there, the ISIS bride had her first child, a daughter called Sarayah.

Begum would flee Raqqa in early 2017, about half a year before the city fell to US-back Syrian forces.

Leaked footage from the capital in 2016, more than a year before it was lost, showed the already harsh reality of existence.

Armed guards can be seen patrolling streets that have been blown apart by air strikes.

The video, commissioned by Expressen TV, also showed how the terror groups’ ideology impacted on more mundane aspects of life.

At one point footage showed women’s faces scribbled out in black marker pen over fears the faces could cause offence.

Describing the harsh reality of capital punishment, one woman named Oum Mohammad said: "I could see there was a man sitting on the ground.

"The executioners were lined up, they were dressed in black.

"They execute with bullets, desecrate the body, decapitate it, stick the head on a spike and put it on display at the roundabout or they will put the body on the road and force cars to run it over until nothing is left."

After Raqqa, Begum would head to the outskirts of the a town called Mayadin. It was there she had son Jerah.

But she moved out again as ISIS were pushed back by Syrian Defence Forces.

She revealed in interviews earlier this month that her son died three months ago, at eight months old, after falling sick,

She had tried to seek a cure for an unknown illness at an ISIS run hospital but there were no drugs and few medical staff.

Her daughter, who was aged one year and nine months, was next to fall ill and died aged one year and nine months.

Pregnant with her third child she took the decision to flee ISIS’ last stronghold of Baghuz.

Her ISIS fighter husband has since been detained by SDF forces.

The teenager, has since given birth to her third child, named after his older brother, is now bidding to return to the UK from al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria.

She said she doesn’t regret travelling to Syria although admitted it was a mistake "in a way".

“The caliphate is over,” she said.

“There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory.”

Now her priority is her newborn baby who she wants to live in Britain.

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ISIS Bride Shamima Begum

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