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Fake Photo: Girl Who Ran Away to Join ISIS

Suzy Woltmann Suzy Woltmann
24th July 2020
Fake Photo: Girl Who Ran Away to Join ISIS
The photo is actually of a young boy (Facebook).

The Claim

A photo depicting an attack is of a young girl who ran away from England to join ISIS.

Emerging story

In mid-July 2020, an image depicting a violent scene began circulating on social media. The caption accompanying the image reads: “For all you snowflakes out there who want to let that poor innocent girl who wants to come home after running off to ISIS. I will just leave this here. This is the very same girl.”

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that the photo has been misattributed. Many social media users claim it depicts Briton Shamima Begum. In 2015, 15-year-old Begum ran away from home to join ISIS in Syria. Her British citizenship was revoked shortly thereafter. 

Begum initially appeared to have little remorse for joining ISIS. In a February 2019 interview with The Times, she said: “I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here.”

However, she later asked to return to her family in London. In July 2020, England’s Court of Appeal said that she should be allowed to return to the U.K. to appeal the decision revoking her British citizenship. 

Lord Justice Julian Flaux said: “Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, so that the LTE [Leave to Enter] appeals should be allowed.”

Misbar’s investigation found that the photo does not depict Begum. We conducted a reverse image search to find that the photo is actually a screenshot from a video released by ISIS. The video, which we have chosen not to include here due to graphic content, shows a young boy attacking a captured Syrian soldier in July 2015. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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