Shamima Begum should ‘still be considered a potential combatant’

Jihadi bride Shamima Begum should ‘still be considered a potential combatant’ unless she cooperates with British intelligence, according to a leading security expert.

Will Geddes warned the 19-year-old could be an ‘extreme challenge’ to de-radicalise as she is yet to show any remorse for joining ‘enemies of the UK.’

The counter terrorism specialist, said the expectant mother is now “exploiting her British nationality”.

Mr Geddes, managing director of security consultancy ICP Group said: “I do find it quite astounding that she feels she is justified to be able to do so and come back to a country she rejected to use the infrastructure that benefited her originally like the NHS that she has not contributed towards for four years.

“Until recently she was facilitating those who are enemies of the UK – she is exploiting her British national status and there some requirements that she would have to be subject to.

“Fundamentally, unless she was willing to provide critical information to the UK intelligence services and authorities about the Islamic State operation and its people, infrastructure and current circumstances, she should still be treated as a hostile individual and potential combatant towards the UK.”

Mr Geddes said the British government and security services would be looking for information from Begum ‘that would be advantageous to assist in keeping the UK safe.’

But since she is yet to show remorse, he said it may prove extremely challenging to de-radicalise her.

Mr Geddes said: “She shows no remorse from the interview of what we can see of rejecting the Islamic State.

“Maybe she was not in a secure environment to do so but we do not yet know.

“The problem is trying to deradicalise someone that is not showing any signs of remorse is an extreme challenge.”

Begum will now be interviewed by a member of the British Government, according to the security expert.

Mr Geddes added: “They will want to assess her for her agenda, intentions, and motivations and a risk assessment will be conducted to decide if she will become a burden if she becomes a risk.

“She will be subject to a criminal investigation by British authorities but the outcome of that depends on her crimes.

“There is a possibility she will be prosecuted within the country that she currently resides in for crimes committed there.”

By Laura Sharman

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