MI5 and MI6 ‘knew Canadian spy smuggled Isis bride Shamima Begum and her friends into Syria within DAYS’ as calls grow for an inquiry into the ‘cover-up’
- The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail cited two sources yesterday
- They confirmed that the CSIS had passed the information on to MI5 and MI6
- It follows revelations that Begum, 23, was trafficked into Syria by a double agent
- The claims were made in The Secret History of the Five Eyes by Richard Kerbaj
British spies were informed by Canadian intelligence within 48 hours that its asset had smuggled Isis bride Shamima Begum and her two friends over the Syrian border, sources alleged yesterday.
The claims that MI5 and MI6 were aware will add to calls for an inquiry into what the police and intelligence services knew about Canada’s activities.
It follows revelations that the now-23-year-old was trafficked into the Middle East by a double agent, on the payroll of both the Islamic State and Canadian intelligence.
Officials in Ottawa are then said to have kept quiet, even as Scotland Yard ran a huge, international search for Begum, and her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, according to The Secret History of the Five Eyes.
Five Eyes is an intelligence sharing alliance, formalised during the Cold War, between the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The book, by journalist Richard Kerbaj, alleged that Canada finally admitted its involvement in the plot as bosses feared becoming exposed, then also managed to convince Britain to cover-up its role.
British spies were informed by Canadian intelligence within 48 hours that its asset had smuggled Isis bride Shamima Begum and her two friends over the Syrian border, sources alleged yesterday
The claims that MI5 and MI6 were aware will add to calls for an inquiry into what the police and intelligence services knew about Canada’s activities
The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail cited two sources yesterday that confirmed the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had passed the information on to MI5 and MI6.
The CSIS learnt of the trios whereabouts four days after they were moved by the Isis smuggler Mohammed al-Rashed on February 17.
The newspaper said that British intelligence agencies were made aware within the next two days, raising the likelihood that they knew before Scotland Yard.
Begum left school in Bethnal Green, East London, to travel to Syria in 2015, where she married an ISIS fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died young.
Her youngest child died in the prison camp in Syria’s north-east in 2019.
She has made previous attempts to restore her British citizenship, but failed in her Supreme Court bid to return to the UK and fight her case in person.
The Supreme Court ruled on national security grounds that she cannot return to Britain to pursue an appeal against the decision.
The law states a person’s citizenship can be stripped if they are deemed to be in the public interest.
It follows revelations that the now-23-year-old was trafficked into the Middle East by a double agent, on the payroll of both the Islamic State and Canadian intelligence
Speaking to iNews from the camp while she awaits a trial by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces earlier this summer, she insisted that she wants to be ‘as British as possible’, but conceded that she expects she will spend the rest of her life in Syria.
‘That’s how I feel and that’s what it looks like,’ Begum said on the likelihood of her spending the rest of her life in the Middle East.
It comes as a British woman and her child were repatriated from a Syrian detention camp in a landmark move, it emerged last night.
The woman – whose identity has not been revealed – is the first adult to be allowed to return to the UK since fighting against Islamic State came to an end.
Jonathan Hargreaves, UK Special Representative for Syria, tweeted on Wednesday: ‘UK officials have facilitated the repatriation of two British nationals from Syria.
In line with long-standing policy, we consider each request for consular assistance in Syria on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all relevant considerations, including national security.’
Around 60 Britons, including 35 children, are being held in indefinite detention in Syria.
What is Five Eyes?
Five Eyes is an intelligence sharing alliance between the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The origins of Five Eyes (FVEY) date back to the Second World War when British and American code-breakers started sharing information.
After the war, Winston Churchill referred to the importance of ‘the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples’ to prevent the Soviet sphere of influence from expanding.
As the Cold War progressed, the intelligence sharing between the allies was formalised as ECHELON, a signals intelligence collection and analysis network.
The network was established to monitor the Soviet Union and its allies but today monitors communications worldwide.
In the late 1990s, ECHELON’s existence was made public, revealing one of the most comprehensive intelligence network’s of all time.
During the ‘war on terror’ its monitoring of internet communications became controversial over fears that the member countries were operating outside the law.
Its remit was recently expanded last year when it began issuing statements on behalf of its members to has since been expanded ‘advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.’
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