Intelligence activity is not only murky but sordid business.
The case of British schoolgirls Shamima Begum and her two friends, who were smuggled into Syria in 2015 to join the terrorist outfit, Daesh (aka ISIS), by an intelligence agent for Canada, exposes the dirty world of espionage.
Shamima Begum was only 15 while her two friends Kadiza Sultana, and Amira Abase were 16 and 15 respectively at the time.
In other words, they were minors.
Richard Kerbaj, a former security correspondent of The Sunday Times, says in an explosive new book, The Secret History of the Five Eyes, that Britain conspired with Canada to cover up the role of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the smuggling of Shamima Begum.
The ‘Five Eyes’ refers to the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand whose intelligence agencies work closely with each other.
The CSIS agent was Mohammed al-Rasheed, who was recruited by the spy agency when he visited the Canadian embassy in Jordan in 2013 seeking asylum in Canada.
His job was to gather information about Daesh terrorists.
At the same time, he smuggled young girls like Shamima Begum and other Britons to fight for Daesh.
In a detailed report on August 30, the BBC wrote: “A senior intelligence officer, at an agency [presumably British or Canadian] which is part of the global coalition against IS, has confirmed to the BBC that Rasheed was providing information to Canadian intelligence while smuggling people to IS.”
The BBC report also said it obtained a dossier on Rasheed that contained extraordinary detail about how he operated.
The CSIS “Muslim” agent was arrested in Turkey soon after he smuggled the underage girls into Daesh hands in Syria.
He told authorities he had gathered information on the people he smuggled into Syria because he was passing it to the Canadian embassy in Jordan.
The BBC report confirmed that he moved in and out of Jordan multiple times between 2013 and 2015.
In February 2019, Shamima Begum expressed the desire to return home, but the British government revoked her citizenship.
Her lawyers launched an appeal in the UK Supreme Court last year but were unsuccessful.
The latest revelations in Kerbaj’s book have created an opportunity for her lawyers to challenge the revocation of her citizenship because a western intelligence agent helped smuggle her into Syria.
Shamima Begum, now 23, remains in a camp in northern Syria, awaiting verdict in her case at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission due in November.
Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Shamima Begum family, has called for an inquiry into what the police and intelligence services knew.
“Britain has lauded its efforts to stop ISIS and the grooming of our children by spending millions of pounds on the Prevent programme and online monitoring. However, at the very same time we have been cooperating with a Western ally, trading sensitive intelligence with them whilst they have effectively been nabbing British children and trafficking them across the Syrian border for delivery to ISIS, all in the name of intelligence gathering,” he said.
“The calculation here is that the lives of British children, and the risk of their death, is part of the algorithm of acceptable risk our Western allies have taken,” he added.
Akunjee said the revelations were of “crucial importance”, given that Shamima Begum had argued she was trafficked into Syria.
Amnesty International UK has similarly described the British Government’s decision to deprive her of citizenship and abandon her and her British children in Syria “an utter disgrace.”
Shamima Begum’s episode shows how western regimes create terrorist groups for their nefarious agenda.
Then they allow their agents to smuggle misguided impressionable young girls into the hands of these very terrorists.
The girls are accused of aiding terrorists and stripped of citizenship.
It cannot get any dirtier.