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ISIS bride Shamima Begum names her baby son Jerah



ISIS bride Shamima Begum names her baby son Jerah 'after Islamic warlord who massacred infidels' - as family lawyer compares her to British heroes by saying 'she's like a WWI soldier in shellshock'

  • Tasnime Akunjee represents the 19-year-old's family but has never spoken to her
  • He told Good Morning Britain she is 'traumatised' like a First World War soldier
  • Host Richard Madeley hit back saying his veteran grandfather didn't act as she is
  • Shamima, formerly of east London, gave birth to boy in Syria on Saturday
  • She has called the child Jerah, said to be in honour of a 7th century warlord

By Lara Keay and Richard Spillett for MailOnline

Published: 02:16 EST, 18 February 2019 | Updated: 10:13 EST, 18 February 2019

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British ISIS bride Shamima Begum has named her child after an Islamic warlord, historians have claimed.

The 19-year-old ran away to join ISIS and marry a jihadi four years ago - but now wants to return to the UK after the terror group's so-called 'caliphate' crumbled into dust and she gave birth to a son, who she has called Jerah.

Her chosen name for her son is thought to be in honour of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, who commanded a section of the Rashidun Army in the 7th century. 

Historian Tom Holland tweeted: 'If she’d wanted to signal that she was returning to Britain in peace, she might have considered naming her baby after someone other than Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, a general from the early days of the Arab conquests chiefly famed for beating the c**p out of infidels. 

'I guess, in a sense, she stands in the long tradition of British youth, flicking a V at the establishment. But punks were never complicit in genocide.'

Jerah was also the name of Begum's first son, who died when she was living under ISIS. 

The campaign by Begum's family to have her returned to Britain sparked fresh controversy today when the lawyer representing them compared the radicalised youngster to a shell-shocked First World War soldier. 

Shamima Begum being interviewed on Sky News yesterday just hours after giving birth to her son (thought to be being cradled by another woman, right)
Shamima Begum being interviewed on Sky News yesterday just hours after giving birth to her son (thought to be being cradled by another woman, right)

Shamima Begum being interviewed on Sky News yesterday just hours after giving birth to her son (thought to be being cradled by another woman, right)

Shamima Begum appeared on Sky News yesterday pleading for sympathy
Shamima Begum appeared on Sky News yesterday pleading for sympathy
Begum is like a shell-shocked First World War soldier, Mr Akunjee claimed
Begum is like a shell-shocked First World War soldier, Mr Akunjee claimed

Shamima Begum (left), who appeared on Sky News yesterday pleading for sympathy, is like a shell-shocked First World War soldier, Mr Akunjee (right) claimed

Shamima Begum's family lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee (right), appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain today as the family steps up its campaign to have her returned to the UK

In his latest contentious comments about the case, her family's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, claimed Begum is like a 'traumatised' soldier returning from the trenches.

When Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley insisted she doesn't look very traumatised, Mr Akunjee replied: 'You might have said the same thing about a First World War soldier in the middle of shell-shock... they are both [in] warzones.'

Madeley branded the lawyer's comments 'foolish', saying his war veteran grandfather found it very difficult to talk about what he went through. 

It came after Mr Akunjee claimed Nazi war criminals were given a fairer hearing than Begum, and blamed her local council, the police and even her school for letting her go to Syria in the first place.

Begum is from a British-Bangladeshi family who live in a four-story block of flats in east London. Nobody answered the door at their flat this morning.

In a new interview with the BBC today, Begum admitted that she was poster girl for ISIS and still has sympathies for the group. 

Begum told the BBC she knew what she was doing when she travelled to Syria in 2015 and accepted she could face prison if she returns to the UK.

She said she wouldn't let her son Jarrar become an ISIS fighter and wanted him to be British.

Asked about what she thought of ISIS-inspired terror attacks in the UK, such as the suicide bombing on an Ariana Grande in Manchester, she claimed she hadn't realised women and children has been killed, but said women and children were also being killed in Syria.

Begum has admitted she still has sympathies with ISIS and knew what she was doing when she travelled to Syria
Begum has admitted she still has sympathies with ISIS and knew what she was doing when she travelled to Syria

Begum has admitted she still has sympathies with ISIS and knew what she was doing when she travelled to Syria

Will Begum's son be able to claim British citizenship? 

Home Office rules state that children born to British citizens are entitled to British citizenship, even if they are born abroad.

Rules mean Begum's baby Jerah will only be able to claim British citizenship if she was born in the UK.

It is thought that she was born in Britain, meaning that, unless the Home Office finds a way of stripping her of her citizenship, or another reason why her situation precludes her from claiming citizenship for her baby, then Jerah will be able to claim a British passport.

The UK's justice secretary David Gauke has said that, under international law, the government cannot make her a 'stateless person'.

However, others have suggested she may be able to claim Bangladeshi citizenship for herself and, possibly, her baby. 

Mr Akunjee's appearance on TV is part of a campaign by Begum's family to have her returned to the UK.

He told the programme: 'The family are aware of how people feel. But it's their daughter and their grandson, who came into existence yesterday.

'I think any parent would think the same thing. They want them home. It wouldn't matter if the whole planet were against her.

'She's a British citizen at the end of the day. There's an innocent child here, the baby. Bringing that child back into safety is a moral duty any state would have.' 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick also appeared on the show this morning and spoke of the Begum case. 

She said that if someone has been linked to a terrorist organisation abroad and they arrive at the British border 'they will be questioned, investigated and possibly prosecuted.'  

Questioned about the Begum and her friend's flight to Syria in the first place, Ms Dick replied:  'The truth of the matter is it's incredibly hard to know what somebody's intending. 

'We try to stop people from travelling when we knew they were travelling with ill-intent.'

Shamima is pictured walking through Gatwick Airport on February 17 2015 as she left the UK 
Shamima is pictured walking through Gatwick Airport on February 17 2015 as she left the UK 

Shamima is pictured walking through Gatwick Airport on February 17 2015 as she left the UK 

Mr Akunjee said Begum should be assessed by a professional and denied she  was 'making up' that she married a Jihadi and had two children who died.

He told the programme: 'She was married to somebody who was a Dutch national, his parents confirmed that. So she is not making it up.'

Mr Akunjee accepted that people are 'repulsed' by her lack of remorse, but he said one should expect that behaviour of someone who is 'still in trauma'.

He also criticised local authorities in east London for failing to intervene before she and two other schoolgirls left for Syria. 

Local council Tower Hamlets has not yet responded to requests for comment on Shamima's bid to return to the UK. 

His comments come after Begum said people should feel sorry for her and should allow her to return to Britain in a TV interview recorded at the refugee camp yesterday.   

Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) is pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 
Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) is pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 

Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) is pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 

During his campaign for the family Mr Akunjee also told The Times Begum is similar to a soldier.

He told the newspaper: 'The Nazis had the Nuremberg trials. They were given due process. This girl was a victim when she went out there at 15 years old.'

'Our politicians are saying that he should be denied protections and due process that would have been granted to Nazis.'  

In her extraordinary TV interview yesterday, Shamima appeared next to a woman in a niqab who was seemingly holding her child.

She spoke to Sky News from the refugee camp in northern Syria where she had the baby just hours earlier.

Kadiza Sultana from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015
Kadiza Sultana from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015
Amira Abase from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015
Amira Abase from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015

Kadiza Sultana (left) and Amira Abase (right) from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015

The teen said was 'okay' with ISIS beheadings and admitted it would be 'really hard' to rehabilitate her in Britain, hours after giving birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp. 

'It would be really hard because of everything I've been through now,' she said. 

Who were the five Bethnal Green girls who went to join ISIS?  

Sharmeena Begum - Flew to Turkey from London Heathrow in December 2014. No relation to Shamima. 

Unnamed 15-year-old - tried to go to Turkey on the same 2014 flight but was stopped before take-off. 

Shamima Begum - One of the three who flew from London Gatwick to Turkey in February 2015 and then went on to Syria. Has pleaded to be allowed to return to the UK with newborn son. 

Amira Abase - Flew out in 2015 with Shamima who said in yesterday's interview she did not know whether Ms Abase was still alive. 

Kadiza Sultana - Also flew out in 2015. Believed to have been killed in an airstrike in 2016.  

'I'm still kind of in the mentality of having planes over my head and an emergency backpack and starving, all these things. I think it would be a big shock to go back to the UK and start life again.' 

After the Begum family lawyer spoke to GMB, hosts Richard and Kate interviewed a former Jihadi bride who left Britain to marry an ISIS fighter.

Tania Joya now lives in Dallas, Texas, USA, and has been rehabiltated. 

She told the programme Shamima needs help.

She said: 'I was a silly naïve teenager - Llike Shamima. I would have made the same mistakes. 

'It boils down to not being raised without the right values - of freedom of thought and western democracy.

'We need to take her out of that environment, we need to educate her.'

Asked if she can be rehabilitated, Ms Joya said: 'I believe so. Even if she doesn't want to show it. 

'She shows arrogance right now. But I think that's just a wall she's putting up to cope. 

'Deep down inside I think she's a very broken human being - very disturbed.' 

Begum family lawyer has accused Theresa May of 'having Nazi blood', said no Muslim should co-operate with police and blamed the security services for 'creating' Lee Rigby's killer 

The lawyer representing jihadi bride Shamima Begum has previously blamed British authorities for 'creating' Lee Rigby's killer, suggested Theresa May has 'Nazi blood' for trying to root out extremists and urged Muslims not to cooperate with police.

Tasnime Akunjee first appeared in the public eye when he represented the families of three girls who fled to join ISIS in Syria in 2015.

Following Begum's reappearance this month as ISIS's so-called caliphate crumbles, Mr Akunjee has spearheaded a media campaign to get her and her newborn baby repatriated to the UK.

In headline-grabbing soundbites, he has compared her to a shell-shocked First World War soldier and claimed Nazi war criminals were given a fairer hearing than she is.

It is not known whether the family is paying Mr Akunjee for his services representing them in the media at present, although any future litigation surrounding Begum's case would likely be open to an application for legal aid. 

Tasnime Akunjee, right, first came to prominence when he sat alongside (left to right) Fahmida Aziz, Sahima Begum and Abase Hussen, all relatives of ISIS brides in Parliament in 2015
Tasnime Akunjee, right, first came to prominence when he sat alongside (left to right) Fahmida Aziz, Sahima Begum and Abase Hussen, all relatives of ISIS brides in Parliament in 2015

Tasnime Akunjee, right, first came to prominence when he sat alongside (left to right) Fahmida Aziz, Sahima Begum and Abase Hussen, all relatives of ISIS brides in Parliament in 2015

Mr Akunjee was previously criticised over controversial views that British authorities 'created' Lee Rigby's killer Michael Adebolajo by 'making his life so difficult'
Mr Akunjee was previously criticised over controversial views that British authorities 'created' Lee Rigby's killer Michael Adebolajo by 'making his life so difficult'

Mr Akunjee was previously criticised over controversial views that British authorities 'created' Lee Rigby's killer Michael Adebolajo by 'making his life so difficult'

Mr Akunjee is pictured with a female companion, thought to be his wife, on social media
Mr Akunjee is pictured with a female companion, thought to be his wife, on social media
Mr Akunjee is pictured with a female companion, thought to be his wife, on social media
Mr Akunjee is pictured with a female companion, thought to be his wife, on social media

Mr Akunjee is pictured with a female companion, thought to be his wife, on social media

Twice married Mr Akunjee, 41, has worked for a series of law firms since 2008, while also working as a legal adviser to the East London Mosque.

He appeared before a Parliamentary Committee alongside Sahima Begum, Fahmida Aziz and Hussen Abase, family members of the three girls who ran away to join ISIS in 2015.

But in the wake of the Parliamentary appearance, it emerged that Mr Akunjee had previously insisted Muslims should not co-operate with the British police because the Government's Prevent counter-terror policy encouraged 'straightforward, paid-for spying on the community'.

In an internet rant, he had said: 'Does she [then Home Secretary Theresa May] have Nazi blood in her veins?'

Mr Akunjee was criticised for his closeness to CAGE, a group which was branded 'apologists for terror' after describing ISIS killer Jihadi John as a 'beautiful young man'.

Like CAGE, he also claimed that the security services 'created' Michael Adebolajo — one of the killers Woolwich Fusilier Lee Rigby — by 'making his life so difficult'.

Mr Akunjee (right) has this week launched a media campaign to get Begum returned to the UK
Mr Akunjee (right) has this week launched a media campaign to get Begum returned to the UK

Mr Akunjee (right) has this week launched a media campaign to get Begum returned to the UK

His views echoed those of CAGE (pictured), who said Jihadi John was a 'beautiful young man'
His views echoed those of CAGE (pictured), who said Jihadi John was a 'beautiful young man'

His views echoed those of CAGE (pictured), who said Jihadi John was a 'beautiful young man'

According to his LinkedIn page, Mr Akunjee, the son of a Bangladeshi doctor, studied at the £18,000-a-year City of London School for Boys, before doing law at the Universities of Sussex and then Westminster.

He joined a solicitors' firm in London in 2008 and has since moved twice, specialising in terrorism-related cases.  

He lives in Victorian terrace in Islington, north London and has been pictured with his constituency MP, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Akunjee, who currently works for a firm called Farooq Bajwa & Co, based in Mayfair, has previously represented a number of extremists. 

In 2013 and 2014, he worked on the case of Nabeel Hussain, a convicted bomb plotter, who was caught trying to get to Syria after his release from prison. 

He was also involved in the case of Richard Dart, an Islamic convert who sought training in Pakistan and discussed plans to attack Royal Wootton Bassett, the town soldiers killed in Afghanistan were repatriated. 

Danny Dyer says Begum SHOULD be allowed to return as he hits out over lack of guidance she was given

Danny Dyer has waded into the Shamima Begum controversy - saying the teenager should be allowed back into the UK.

The EastEnders star said the runaway schoolgirl must have been 'lost within her soul' to go to Syria.

The 41-year-old told Good Morning Britain that Begum, now 19, must have had 'no guidance, clearly, because if you think about it ... How has it got into her head that going to Syria at 15 years of age is the answer, when she lives in this country?'

'What is that about? So who's there to guide her, talk to her?

'Why is she so lost within her soul that she thinks that's the answer, to go to Syria?' he said.

Eastenders Danny Dyer spoke about the case when he appeared on TV today
Eastenders Danny Dyer spoke about the case when he appeared on TV today

Eastenders Danny Dyer spoke about the case when he appeared on TV today

And Dyer, who plays Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter in the BBC soap, said: 'I don't understand what's gone on there and now she wants to come back.'

Asked whether the UK should allow back Begum Dyer replied: 'Yes, because I feel she needs a chance, maybe to explain what was going on and maybe we can understand a little bit more about how they got to her and how she felt it was the right move to jump on a plane and leave this country at 15 years of age.

'She is still a young girl - who was looking after her? Maybe we can learn from it.'

When the ITV show's stand-in host, Richard Madeley, said Begum would not have gone to Syria without the internet, Dyer replied: 'We've all got the internet, Rich. Are you thinking of going to Syria? Seriously.'

 

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