When we first heard of Shamima it was the story of a 15 year old school girl going missing and then as the story unfolded it became the story of a very foolish girl and her two friends going to join ISIS to become a Jihadi bride.
During her time away she had three children all of whom have died, she married a Jihadi fighter and became involved in some pretty beastly goings on out in Syria, I seem to remember her talking of watching the beheadings and seeing the heads fall into a bucket.
Finally she turned up some years later and lacking her two friends who had been killed and asking to be able to return to the UK and my initial reaction was to say firmly, no for you have made your bed and now you have to lay in it.
However, some time has now passed and I am changing my mind, as I now believe she was groomed before she went and once there I imagine it was very hard to turn back.
What will happen if she is not allowed back, will she become radicalised again and the next time she turns up on British soil she is wearing a suicide vest, or if she is brought home to stand trial and is sent to prison will the same thing happen, viewed like that it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation.
So we either believe her and she is genuinely remorseful and take pity on a someone who as a young naïve school girl was groomed or an even more strange angle that she is extremely clever and is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and is just pretending to have regrets about her actions.
My initial reaction was to say, let her rot in hell but I have changed my mind and I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt, bring her home and after she is tried in a court of law and if found guilty be given a fairly long prison sentence, obviously making sure she is kept well away from any chance of being radicalised when in prison.
Assuming she was a naïve schoolgirl who was groomed what a sad story this is.