Shamima Begum, a teenager who along with two other girls left Britain in 2015 to join Daesh was smuggled to Syria by an intelligence agent recruited by Canada, and UK police knew it, a new book and several British media outlets claim.
Shamima Begum, a UK-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl along with two other girls to join the Daesh terror group was smuggled into the Arab country by an intelligence agent for Canada while the UK conspired with Ottawa to cover up her disappearance, according to a new book and several British media outlets.
Scotland Yard [London police] knew the teenagers were trafficked into Syria by a people-smuggler who was a double agent working for Daesh as well as the Canadian intelligence, British newspaper The Times reported on Tuesday, citing the upcoming book The Secret History of The Five Eyes by Richard Kerbaj.
"Canada knew about the teenagers' fate but kept silent while the Metropolitan Police ran a frantic, international search for the trio," the paper said.
"Canada privately admitted its involvement only when it feared being exposed, and then successfully asked the British to cover up its role."
Begum along with Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, left London in 2015 and were reportedly taken by the spy for Canada Mohammed Al Rasheed to the Daesh-controlled areas of Syria.
Ottawa continued to remain tight-lipped, but when Türkiye arrested Rasheed, it privately told the UK, the book and newspaper reports say.
Before becoming Canada's spy, Rasheed had reportedly travelled to Jordan where he met officials at the Canadian embassy and sought asylum in Canada. The book claims Rasheed, a human trafficker, was instead recruited and told to collect intelligence on Daesh.
Passing info to Canadians in Jordan
British broadcaster BBC said on Tuesday that it has seen files that show Rasheed claimed to have shared Begum's passport details with Canada and smuggled other British citizens to fight for Daesh.
Rasheed was providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to Daesh, BBC said, citing a senior intelligence officer.
BBC said it has received a dossier on Rasheed "that contains information gathered by law enforcement and intelligence, as well as material recovered from his hard drives, which provide extraordinary detail about how he operated."
"He told authorities that he had gathered information on the people he helped into Syria because he was passing it to the Canadian embassy in Jordan," BBC reported.
There was no comment from the British and Canadian governments on the claims.
Begum, a subject of a heated debate
Begum, while in Syria, married a Daesh fighter. She gave birth to three children, all of whom died as infants, and is now being held in a detention camp in Syria controlled by PKK/YPG terror group.
She has been stripped of her British citizenship in 2019 on national security grounds.
Begum's case has been the subject of a heated debate in Britain, pitting those who say she forsook her right to citizenship by travelling to join the terror group against those who argue she should not be left stateless and hers is a case of trafficking.