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Home » Fears For Young Child Of Leeds Jihadi Bride Wadja Rashid, 45, Who Is Currently Languishing In Same Syrian Detention Camp As Shamima Begum And ‘close To Death’

Fears For Young Child Of Leeds Jihadi Bride Wadja Rashid, 45, Who Is Currently Languishing In Same Syrian Detention Camp As Shamima Begum And ‘close To Death’

A jihadi bride who could soon die if she does not get surgery has begged the British Government to let her return home amid fears that her young son could become a ‘stateless orphan’.

Wajda Rashid, 45, from Leeds, said she regretted going to Syria with her Porsche-driving lawyer husband Yasser Iqbal, 46, who left his life in the UK behind to take up arms with ISIS terrorists in 2015. 

Ms Rashid pleaded with Britain to let her come home for the sake of her seven-year-old son, Adam, and said she needs surgery for shrapnel injuries suffered in the conflict. ‘I just want England to take me back for my son.’ 

She is friends with jihadi bride Shamima Begum, 24, who last month lost her appeal to return to Britain. They have lived at Al-Roj detention camp for about seven years. 

British filmmaker Andrew Drury first met Ms Rashid at the camp in 2022 after being introduced by Ms Begum, whom he claims called Ms Rashid a ‘pest’.

Mr Drury, who filmed and photographed both women for a documentary not yet broadcast, told MailOnline that Ms Rashid’s ‘story is more pitiful because she has Adam there’.

‘He could be first the stateless orphan,’ the filmmaker said, adding, ‘It’s not Adam’s fault. He’s actually one of the better boys in the camp.’

Shamima Begum (left) with Wajda Rashid (right). Living conditions at at Al-Roj are harsh, and there is no longer a fresh water supply after the camp was bombed by Turkish military last year

Ms Rashid’s son Adam, 7,  is one of 35 children living on the camp 

Rashid’s Porsche-driving lawyer husband Yasser Iqbal, 46

Last week, Ms Rashid gave an emotional interview with a Mail on Sunday reporter. The distraught mother said: ‘Just take me back because of everything that has happened to us.

‘I miss my family so much. My mum, my dad, my brothers. I miss them so much. And I just want to go back and live with them and never ever go out of the country ever. I am traumatised.’

The former teacher said that she had regretted travelling to Syria from the moment she arrived in 2015, saying: ‘The day I got here I was crying. I really want to go back because it’s hard for me to live here.’

Her husband is understood to be in a men’s prison in northern Syria after being captured. He used to be a barrister in Birmingham and previously boasted that he drove a silver Porsche Boxster and ‘was looking forward to saving up to buy a villa and a Lamborghini’ before he joined ISIS.

At the time, the Islamist terrorists controlled vast areas of Syria and Iraq. The couple lived in Raqqa, the terror group’s capital city, where their son was born in 2016.

Ms Rashid said she was separated from her husband during fighting in Baghouz, which was ISIS’s last stronghold.

She uses crutches after her right arm and leg were hit by shrapnel from a bomb in Coalition air strikes. ‘I am part-paralysed – my leg and arm don’t work. I don’t get any help from physiotherapy,’ she said. ‘I need to take the shrapnel out because it hurts me so much. I want the Government to take me back, to hear what I’ve got to say.’

Other countries, including Canada and Germany, have allowed jihadi brides to return home. But the UK Government will not approve it on the basis that the women pose a terror risk.

Ms Rashid and her husband were stripped of their British citizenship in 2017, on the grounds that both were threats to national security. Her husband previously ranted in an audio recording obtained by the MoS that the UK was a ‘country of dogs’.

Mr Drury, speaking to MailOnline last night, said that while ‘I don’t think she should get her citizenship back or come back’, the situation surrounding Adam is difficult.

‘She had her citizenship removed before she had the child,’ he explained, meaning that Adam wouldn’t have been entitled to UK citizenship. But Mr Drury noted, ‘I think all kids are innocent.’ 

He described Ms Rashid’s story as being ‘completely different’ to that of Ms Begum, who he believes ‘actually wanted to go’ to Syria.

‘She followed her husband and seemed quite pitiful,’ he said of Ms Rashid. ‘Her husband was a lawyer and quite dominant. She was more of an ISIS bride.

‘I don’t think she did what Shamima did. I don’t think she carried out atrocities or was actively involved in ISIS activity.’

But he added: ‘When you give up your freedom to go to an area to join the Islamic State, the punishment is what you get. I think it’s a really hard situation.’

Ms Begum left the UK for Syria in 2015, married a fighter with the IS jihadist group and had three children – none of whom survived.

When Britain’s then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship citing national security grounds in 2019, Ms Begum argued she had been left de-facto stateless.

She previously said she had been ‘brainwashed’ and regretted her actions in Syria, and begged to be given a second chance in the UK. She added that depression and a need for purpose led to her being radicalised online.

Ms Begum, 24, last month lost her appeal to return to Britain. The decision to revoke her citizenship was ruled lawful by the Court of Appeal as she also had Bangladeshi nationality through her parents until her 21st birthday. 

She could still take her case to the UK Supreme Court.

Mr Drury, who has met with Ms Begum on six occasions, has now told MailOnline that she ‘cannot be trusted’.

‘After spending two years with her, I don’t think she’s a perfectly nice character,’ he said. ‘She is not apologetic, she legitimised the Manchester bombing and we should be focused on the victims not the perpetrators.’

He said he spoke with Ms Begum multiple times and claims that during every interview she ‘changed who she was’.

The filmmaker alleged that Ms Begum has been texting him for about a year and that the messages she sent have ‘changed my opinion of her’. MailOnline has not seen the text messages he mentioned.

Mr Drury claimed that she routinely altered her story and suggested she would create a ‘character’ that suited her needs at the time.  

He added that Ms Begum is now only claiming she had been radicalised because she has ‘tried everything to get home’ and been unsuccessful.

Ms Begum and Ms Rashid are two of more than a dozen British women being held at the Al-Roj detention camp in Syria. 

British Jihadi wife Shamima Begum pictured with her infant son Jerah in Al Hawl camp for captured ISIS wives in children, Kurdish Syria

Undated file photo of Islamic State bride Shamima Begum, who left for Syria in 2015

The commander at Al-Roj camp for ISIS women and children told The Mail on Sunday there are 19 British women and 35 children living there.

The UK Government has stripped the women in the camp of their British citizenship and is refusing to allow them to return from Syria due to national security fears.

Officials from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which runs the camp, have urged Britain to repatriate the women and children. One commander told the MoS: ‘We want the British Government to take their citizens and conduct trials in Britain. Their presence in the camp is a ticking time bomb, posing a danger to everyone.

‘Mothers are indoctrinating children with extremist ideologies, and many refuse to send them to school. Our attempt to encourage education backfires, as mothers divert their children to sharia courses instead.’

Living conditions at Al-Roj are harsh, and there is no longer a fresh water supply after the camp was bombed by the Turkish military last year.

A report by the charity War Child earlier this month estimated there were between 30 and 60 British children living in detention camps in Syria. To date, the UK is known to have repatriated ten children.