Most ‘Isis brides’ I met in Syria showed signs of regret, even shame. Shamima Begum is different

They climbed down from the trucks in a cloud of dust. More than 1,000 women and children had just left the last few square miles of Isis-held territory, broken and exhausted from fleeing the last battle.

Waiting for them at the screening point in the Syrian desert last month were stern-looking Kurdish intelligence officials and US special forces soldiers. As far as they were concerned, these families who had stayed in the caliphate until its dying days were willing supporters of Isis.

More than 20,000 women and children have gone through the same process in the past two months, before moving on to al-Hol displacement camp further north. Shamima Begum, the British teenager who fled her home in Bethnal Green to join Isis, would have made the same journey not so long ago.

Share