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Shamima Begum was smuggled into Syria by an agent for Canada

Begum’s lawyers are challenging the removal of her citizenship, arguing she was a trafficking victim

Shamima Begum, who fled the UK and joined the Islamic State group, was smuggled into Syria by an intelligence agent for Canada, BBC reports.

Files seen by the BBC show he claimed to have shared Begum’s passport details with Canada, and smuggled other Britons to fight for IS.

Begum’s lawyers are challenging the removal of her citizenship, arguing she was a trafficking victim.

Canada and the UK declined to comment on security issues.

Shamima Begum was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls – Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase – travelled to Syria to join the terrorist group IS in 2015.
At the main Istanbul bus station, the girls met Mohammed Al Rasheed, who would facilitate their journey to IS-controlled Syria.

Rasheed was providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to IS, a senior intelligence officer, at an agency which is part of the global coalition against IS, has confirmed.

The BBC has obtained 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.

Rasheed, who was arrested in Turkey within days of smuggling Begum to IS, told authorities he had shared a photo of the passport the British schoolgirl was using.

The Metropolitan Police were searching for her, although by the time Canada received her passport details, Begum was already in Syria.

The dossier shows that Ms Begum was moved to Syria through a substantial IS people-smuggling network that was controlled from the group’s de-facto capital in Raqqa.

Rasheed was in charge of the Turkish side of this network and facilitated the travel of British men, women and children to IS for at least eight months before he helped Ms Begum and her two friends.

Begum told the BBC’s forthcoming I’m Not A Monster podcast that Rasheed organised the entire trip from Turkey to Syria. “I don’t think anyone would have been able to make it to Syria without the help of smugglers,” she said.
“He had helped a lot of people come in… We were just doing everything he was telling us to do because he knew everything, we didn’t know anything.”

Rasheed kept information about the people he helped, often photographing their ID documents or secretly filming them on his phone.

One recording shows Begum and her friends get out of a taxi and into a waiting car not far from the Syrian border.

Rasheed also gathered information about IS, mapping the locations of the homes of Western IS fighters in Syria, identifying IP addresses and locations of internet cafes in IS-controlled territory, and taking screenshots of conversations he was having with IS fighters.

Rasheed was arrested in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa not long after he had facilitated the girl’s journey to Syria.

In a statement to law enforcement, he said that the reason he had gathered information on everyone he had helped, including Begum, was because he was passing this information to the Canadian embassy in Jordan.

Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer for the Begum family, said there will be a legal hearing in November to challenge the removal of Begum’s citizenship and “one of the main arguments” will be that then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid did not consider that she was a victim of trafficking.