Shemima Begum’s husband says they should be allowed to live in Europe

Shemima Begum’s ISIS terrorist husband says the couple should be allowed to go and live in the Netherlands as he defends marrying her when she was just 15

  • Yago Riedijk, 27, joined ISIS when he was 15, and admits fighting for the group
  • He claimed he rejected IS and tried to leave and now wants to return to Holland
  • He also defended marrying Begum when she was 15, saying it was ‘her choice’ 

The Dutch husband of Shemima Begum wants to bring her and their newborn child to live with him in The Netherlands. 

Yago Riedijk, 27, joined ISIS when he was 15, and admits fighting for them, but despite being on a terrorist watch list in his native country he has not had his citizenship revoked. 

Mr Riedijk is being held in a Kurdish detention centre in north-eastern Syria and faces six years behind bars if he returns home but in an interview with the BBC he claimed he rejected IS and tried to leave. 

Mr Riedijk is being held in a Kurdish detention centre, pictured here speaking to the BBC

Shamima Begum pictured with Jarrah in Al Hawl camp in Syria for captured ISIS wives

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He married Ms Begum days after meeting her in IS territory and has also come out and defended the decision to do so despite her being just 15 at the time, and him 23.  

Riedijk, from Arnhem, said he was initially uninterested by the prospect of marriage with the East London schoolgirl whom he met in a women’s centre but decided to marry her because it was ‘her choice’. 

He said: ‘To be honest, when my friend came and said there was a girl who was interested in marriage, I wasn’t that interested because of her age, but I accepted the offer anyway.’

Ms Begum on ITV1 lunchtime news revealing the face of baby Jarrah to the cameras

He told a BBC reporter that he wants to return to Holland with his bride and their newborn son

He added that she had seemed to be ‘in a good state of mind’.

He conceded ‘she was very young, maybe it would have been better for her to wait a bit’, before adding: ‘But she didn’t, she chose to get married and I chose to marry her.’

Ms Begum is currently in limbo with the UK revoking her citizenship on the grounds that she is eligible for citizenship of Bangladesh through her mother, who is a Bangladeshi citizen. 

However, Bangladesh’s ministry of foreign affairs has said that she isn’t a Bangladeshi citizen and that she will not be allowed into the country. 

The IS fighter also told the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville that he was imprisoned in Raqqa and tortured after the extremists accused him of being a Dutch spy.

Ms Begum is now 19. As the IS caliphate crumbled she escaped the stronghold of Baghouz in Syria with her husband. 

He surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters and his wife and new-born son ended up among 39,000 people in the al-Hawl refugee camp.  


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