US ISIS fighters should come home, be prosecuted: State Department


Shamima Begum left for Syria in 2014 and says she was nothing more than a housewife.

An Alabama woman who reportedly posted a tweet encouraging Americans to kill themselves - after being "brainwashed" into joining ISIS years ago - is now begging for officials to let her back into the U.S.

It's unclear how Begum is trying to get home.

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

"I think a lot of people should have sympathy towards me for everything I've been through", she said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

In a handwritten letter released by Shibly, Muthana wrote that she made "a big mistake" by rejecting her family and friends in the United States to join the Islamic State.

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Muthana, who dodged sniper fire and roadside bombs to escape, is ready to pay the penalty for her actions but wants freedom and safety for the 18-month-old son she had with one of two IS fighters she Wednesday, he said.

"It's one thing to kill a soldier, it's fine, it's self-defence", she told the BBC while comparing the bombing to military assaults in Syria.

"Our policy in this regard would be to repatriate them - and that's what we call on all countries to do who have [ISIS] fighters in Syria", Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters when asked about Muthana, although he declined to weigh in on her case specifically. "Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification".

Denise Welch says Shamima Begum should not be allowed to keep her newborn baby should she return to the UK.

"I'm a 19-year-old girl with a new born baby".

"He has no proof that I was a threat other than that I was in Isis, that's it".

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"If there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution it is our job to look at the threat they pose if they are returning from Syria and we do that with every single person who comes back from Syria and then manage the risk with colleagues in the [security and intelligence] agencies".

Muthana now has an 18-month-old son from one of her ISIS marriages. I don't know how I would be seen as a danger. "I don't understand what's going on there", he added.

"I do regret it because when I went I thought I was going to make a family and I didn't realise what the things they were doing that they weren't showing in their propaganda videos, and I actually do regret it, I do feel bad for anyone who was affected by the actions of ISIS".

She added she had been "OK with" beheadings carried out by Islamic State adherents because she had heard it was allowed under Islamic law.

Ms Begum's lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said the Government had a "moral duty" to bring Ms Begum back to the UK.

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