It’s been difficult during the past week or so to switch to any UK channel or news medium that isn’t reporting on the plight of Jihadi bride, Shemima Begum. There have been so many contradictory and confusing reports that we think polygraph services would shine a whole new light on them. We look at which people should take lie detector tests to provide greater insight into the truth.
Who is Shamima Begum?
It is widely acknowledged that Shamima Begum is one of three schoolgirls who left their homes in East London and went to Turkey together in 2015. From there the trio made their way to Syria to join ‘Islamic State’ (IS).
Shortly after this 15 year old Ms Begum appears to have married a Dutch national Yago Riedijk, 12 years her senior. He was a convert to Islam and fighting for IS. No one appears to have checked the legality of this marriage, where it took place and who presided over it.
When first found in a Kurdish refugee camp by a journalist working for The Times newspaper, she was pregnant and stated she had lost two children previously. These children apparently died from malnutrition. It appears that this statement has been taken as fact. Many have drawn attention to Ms Begum’s appearance that is far from malnourished.
A polygraph test would confirm her identity as well as whether she really had two other children who died in the manner she describes.
What are her true intentions?
In various interviews she has given to TV broadcasters she has outraged public opinion of her. She has stated that she wasn’t fazed by severed heads and justified the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester as retaliation for the West’s attacks on ISIS in the Middle East.
Below is one of the first interviews conducted with the now 19 year old Ms Begum:
She says that she wants to return to Britain and “live quietly” with her child. At the time she was found she was pregnant and has since given birth to a son. She named her baby Jarrah. Historian, Tom Holland, tweeted that naming her baby after Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah didn’t signify a peaceful return to Britain. Born in 583 AD (or CE as it would be referred to by non-Christians) Jarrah became a 7th century Islamic warlord after he converted to the faith in 611. He was noted for his disdain of unbelievers.
A lie detector test would be the quickest way of establishing the truth of Shamima Begum’s intentions.
Place of Birth
We have seen some news reports stating Ms Begum was born in Bangladesh and moved when she was 3 to Britain. Others state she was born in Britain. The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, gave credence to her possible birth in Bangladesh when he stripped her of her British citizenship last week. Many immigrants from Bangladesh hold dual citizenship.
However, the Bangladeshi government was quick to point out that Ms Begum does not have citizenship there and she would not be welcome. Currently Ms Begum’s family, who live in Bethnal Green, East London, has engaged the services of a lawyer to challenge the Home Secretary’s decision.
A father clutching a teddy bear appeared in some news reporting on Ms Begum. Social media immediately went to work and erroneously spread the news that Hussen Abase was her father. Actually he is the father of one of her school friends, Amira Abase, who ran away to Turkey with her.
Mr Abase is not a character without controversy. He was captured on video attending a protest against the USA, when an American flag was burned outside the US Embassy in London some years ago. The protest was organised by Anjem Choudary who was convicted of promoting support of IS in 2015. Choudary was recently released from prison having served half of the 5 and a half year sentence imposed on him. His conditions of release are strict and include attending a de- radicalisation program.
The highlighting of Hussen Abase’s previous behaviour has inspired much debate on radio and social media as to whether the family members and their associates should be more closely scrutinised. Were the family or friends of Ms Begum’s family involved in her running away to IS?
The real father of Ms Begum has since emerged and confirmed that he is in agreement with the Home Secretary’s decision to not allow his daughter back to the UK. Ahmed Ali, who resides in Bangladesh, is apparently “shocked” by his daughter’s absence of remorse.
How lie detector tests help
Polygraph examinations with carefully worded questions, related to terrorism activity, could conceivably uncover a web of deceit in this complex case. As with many polygraph services used by the police and border security staff, test results have a way of steering their investigations into areas that may not be initially obvious.
We invite our readers to comment on this case and let us know whether you think Shamima Begum should be permitted to return to the UK.