It has now been revealed that the man who, back in 2015, smuggled Shamima Begum and two others into Syria was also allegedly working with Canadian intelligence, providing them with information about ISIS. He allegedly did so in order to be granted asylum by the Canadians. The BBC claims that this was part of an agreement he had with the Canadians. Shamima remains in a refugee camp in Syria, but the other two young women had reportedly died during the war.
Canada is now saying that they support an inquiry into their agent’s role in the journey of these three young women to Syria.
The story of Shamima Begum, which had always seemed off for some reason, now comes into focus more clearly.
This is the same young woman who, perhaps too candidly for her own good, pointed out that civilians were being killed in Baghuz by Western forces as well (you can read a little about the controversy of the Battle of Baghuz here).
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The entire interview that Shamima Begum first did with the BBC can now be viewed in an entirely new light. It even makes the BBC interviewer’s accusatory questioning style seem even more unfair.
Apparently the parents of these three girls could not understand why the girls were never stopped and prevented from entering Syria:
“To the parents, the authorities’ explanations for why the girls hadn’t been stopped didn’t add up. They believed their daughters had been assisted in leaving, under the very noses of the authorities, who were occupied in trying to cover up what they claimed were oversights. In early March of 2015, news broke that seemed to confirm their suspicions – only to be swept aside until this week.
Turkish officials claimed the man who had met the girls in Istanbul and smuggled them into Syria was a Canadian intelligence asset. Canadian media advanced the story based on Turkish intelligence reports, suggesting that Mohammed al-Rashed was a double-agent acting as an IS people-smuggler, ferrying British nationals into IS territory and relaying their identities back to the Canadians. If the Turkish authorities’ account was to be believed, an agent with ties to Canada had smuggled three British girls into a war zone.”
Even while acknowledging that Shamima Begum went to Syria willingly, we can see how—with the numerous different participants involved in the conflict—her story and the stories of many others like her are far from being black and white.
This is all made even more outrageous by the fact that the UK (recall that Canada is a member of the Commonwealth and has good relations with the UK) had no problem stripping Begum of her citizenship.
How hastily the lines of ethics and morality are blurred by activities of states, with people’s lives made into characters within their schemes and treated as mere pawns in the game. Anyone who dares to point out those blurred lines are at best dismissed—they are dismissed by governments because they don’t want the population to be aware about any of it; and also dismissed by the population because they’ve faithfully swallowed the government narrative and have firm conviction it in.
Shamima Begum remains stateless, though it appears she’s removed the hijab and continues asking to be allowed to return to the UK.