UK girl reveals how she joined ISIS
Canadian asset moved Shamima Begum, 2 other girls to Syria in 2015
Shamima Begum, a schoolgirl who left the UK to join the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group, has said she was smuggled into Syria by a Canadian intelligence agent.
Mohammed al-Rasheed posed as a human smuggler when he helped Begum and two other British girls travel to Syria in 2015.
Begum was 15 years old at the time and was accompanied by Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase.
“He organized 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,” Begum said in a BBC podcast detailing her journey to join the terror group.
“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,” Begum added.
Rasheed played a major role in bringing foreign fighters into Syria, while also providing information to Canadian intelligence authorities on their movements, according to the BBC, which gained access to a dossier on the Canadian spy and his undercover work as a smuggler.
A senior intelligence officer confirmed that Rasheed “was providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people” to Daesh/ISIS, the BBC reported.
In a video he took of Begum, Sultana and Abase at the Syrian border, Rasheed can be heard directing the British schoolgirls to a car that would take them to their destination.
Rasheed was arrested by authorities in Türkiye’s southern city of Sanliurfa shortly after he smuggled Begum into Syria.
According to the BBC, the Canadian agent also obtained information on the terrorist group itself, documenting the location of homes of foreign fighters in Syria, as well as identifying IP addresses and locations of internet cafes used by fighters in Daesh/ISIS-controlled territory.
After his arrest, Rasheed told law enforcement that he was gathering information on everyone he helped and “passing this information to the Canadian Embassy in Jordan,” the BBC report said.
He had also been in contact with an infamous UK member of the terrorist group, Raphael Hostey, and the pair coordinated on supplying fighters and weaponry.
“I need you to work under me. Officially … I want you to help us bring people in,” Hostey said to Rasheed in a text conversation seen by the BBC.
“You work for us bringing equipment, bringing in brothers and sisters,” Hostey added, to which Rasheed responded with: “I am ready, brother.”
The UK revoked Begum’s citizenship in 2019 and she is currently held in a detention camp in northeastern Syria.
Her lawyers, who have launched legal proceedings to get her back to the UK, said it was “shocking” that a Canadian intelligence asset helped in trafficking young girls.
They told the BBC that “intelligence-gathering looks to have been prioritized over the lives of children.”
UK authorities have yet to comment on the issue, with a government spokesman saying “it is our long-standing policy that we do not comment on operational intelligence or security matters,” the BBC report said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government “will follow up on the claims.”
However, he defended Canadian agencies, saying that the “fight against terrorism requires our intelligence services to continue to be flexible and to be creative in their approaches,” according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
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