A Canadian government spy helped Shamima Begum and her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana cross the Turkish border into Syria to join ISIS in 2015.
This story was extensively covered by Turkish and Canadian media at the time but only rated small stories in some UK tabloids. The Enquirer believes this aspect of the fate of the Bethnal Green Academy ISIS brides should be more widely known.
The Five Eyes intelligence network
In addition to being a Commonwealth member and close ally of the UK, Canada is also part of the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance which Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the United States use to share intelligence with each other.
In 2015 three schoolgirls from Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana would later
In February 2015 three 15-year-old schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets, Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana fled their family homes and travelled to Syria to join ISIS.
All three had been radicalised by persons unknown.
Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana would later be killed in Syria. Shamima Begum would be discovered alive in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019 by British journalist Anthony Loyd. Shamima’s lawyers are currently attempting to allow her UK citizenship to be reinstated.
The YouTube video below from the Canadian Global News network is worth a watch. There is a brief glimpse of Shamima Begum and her expression of fear is only too apparent.
The Syrian dentist
Mohammed Al Rashed, a Syrian dentist, was originally a member of the Free Syrian Army that fought against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as well as ISIS who were also trying to sieze control of the country.
After the Free Syrian Army suffered a series of defeats in 2014 Rashed left Syria via Derra then to a refugee camp in Jordan.
While working as a doctor in Deraa on the Jordanian border treating casualties of the conflict Rashed met “Abu Qaqa” also known as “Abu Qaqa al-Britani” a senior ISIS commander of ISIS who was British national Raphael Hostey.
Hostey left Manchester to join Isis in 2013 and boasted of recruiting hundreds of Britons for Isis.
The 23-year-old became a key recruiter of British fighters and jihadi brides for the terror group and was also heavily involved in its propaganda. He was reported killed by a drone strike in 2016.
Recruiting jihadi brides and fighters
Abu Qaqa was in charge of recruiting volunteer jihadi brides and fighters from other countries who wanted to join ISIS.
The ISIS commander asked Rashad to work with him in Turkey, providing potential foreign ISIS volunteers Rashad’s phone number and then tasking Rashad with obtaining photographs and passport details to enable the volunteers to travel to Syria via Turkey.
Rashad used the internet, WhatsApp messages and other software tools to do this.
While in Jordan Rashad had applied for asylum at the United Nations office in Amman and then also applied to the French, US and Canadian embassies for asylum.
Canadian Secret Intelligence Service
It was at this stage that Rashad became actively involved with a Canadian Secret Intelligence Service (CSIS) officer at the Canadian embassy he knew as Matt who wanted details of the foreign volunteers. Rashad frequently moved between Turkey and Jordan to maintain his asylum status.
In Turkey he was responsible for meeting the volunteers at Esenler Bus Station after their flights and providing bus tickets for the journey to Gaziantep in southern Turkey, the last city before the Syrian border.
The foreigners paid for their own tickets as well as the taxi fares of Rashad.
In a later statement to the Turkish government Rashad said this was how the three Bethnal Green girls came to Istanbul to join ISIS along with eight other British people on that particular day.
He accompanied the whole group, including Amira Abase, Shamima Begum, and Kadiza Sultana from Bethnal Green Academy to Gaziantep by bus.
A journey fraught with danger
One of two ISIS men named Abu Haris or Abu Bakr who controlled border operations would call Rashad by phone and tell him where in Gaziantep the volunteers should be dropped off. From there they would be taken into Syria itself.
The whole journey from Turkey to ISIS in Syria was fraught with danger and involved many checkpoints manned by different groups. Rashad was responsible for ensuring smooth passage of the foreign fighters at the checkpoints.
Rashad was eventually arrested by the Turkish authorities on 28 in Şanlıurfa, Turkey.
When searched his computer was found to contain photos and dozens of British passports and credentials, including that of the three British girls.
In a statement Rashad said that he did not undertake any action against Turkey, claiming that he only wanted to prevent terrorism activities and that he was paid between $800 to $1,500 by the Canadian SIS in return for his work.
Rashad is believed to be in prison in Turkey.
Despite investigating the fate of the Bethnal Green Academy girls for several years it was only recently that I was told of the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service (CISS) involvement.
The information above is freely available in the Turkish press, all that is needed is to know what you are searching for and change some default settings in Google.
One crazy idea is the possibility that the UK security services were told by CISS that the Bethnal Green Girls planned to flee to Syria before they left and let them go.
The value to our own security services in allowing the girls to flee to ISIS unhindered would be in the exceptionally valuable intelligence generated if they were kept under surveillance as they travelled.
Remember that back in 2014 ISIS was very much an unknown quantity and gathering this type of hard information would be a huge step forward in understanding their methods.
An argument against this crazy idea (did we mention it’s crazy?) is the safety of the girls being subservient to the needs of the state.
Thing is that in the ‘war against drugs’ it is a matter of routine that low level dealers, many the same age if not younger than the Bethnal Green Academy girls, are allowed to run and operate without interference to allow them to unwittingly lead the police to the high level dealers that are the priority targets.
But hey, what do we know?
This theory assumes that the Canadian security service told the UK security service about Mohammed Al Rashed. It is difficult to think of a reason why they would not.
Another thing we don’t know is the precise manner in which the girls were radicalised. We are reasonably sure that they were not purely radicalised online but in person in this country in our very own borough.
One reason we may never know the reality of this is the inexplicable failure of Tower Hamlets Council to order a Serious Case Review (SCR) of what happened to Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum.
Related Internet Links
- Agent ‘working for Canadian intelligence’ has been arrested in Turkey for allegedly helping three British girls cross into Syria to join ISIS Daily Mail March 2015
- Man suspected of helping British schoolgirls join Isis arrested in Turkey – Guardian March 2015
- Reports link Islamic State recruiter to Canadian Embassy in Jordan
- Video shows UK girls being aided in joining ISIS by Canadian spy
- Bethnal Green Academy ISIS brides – Wikipedia
- Statement from the agent that took British girls to ISIS! – Timeturk Haber
- Did the British Girls Deliver to ISIS Canadian Agent?
- ‘I delivered 11 people, including British girls, in Gaziantep’
- 3 British girls appeared before joining Isidor – Sputnik Turkey
- Habertürk reached the confessions of that spy, which he was chasing the whole world