The Daily Telegraph

Canada may welcome spy who helped Begum join IS

- By Charles Hymas

THE double agent responsibl­e for smuggling Shamima Begum into Syria has been released from jail in Turkey, it emerged yesterday, and may be granted political asylum in Canada.

Mohammed al-rashed, who worked for the Canadian Security Intelligen­ce Service (CSIS) while smuggling recruits into Syria for Islamic State, was freed on Aug 5, according to sources.

His role in helping Ms Begum and her two friends get into Syria emerged after he was arrested by the Turkish authoritie­s in 2015 and subsequent­ly jailed for terrorism and smuggling offences. It was only then that CSIS told Scotland Yard about their double agent.

Al-rashed, who was recruited to the CSIS in 2013, told Turkish intelligen­ce after he was arrested that he was promised Canadian citizenshi­p if he passed on informatio­n about the activities of IS.

Turkey is understood to have made clear it would not allow the Syrian national to stay in the country beyond his jail term. Marco Mendicino, Canada’s public safety minister, declined to say if al-rashed was granted asylum.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, defended the CSIS last month, saying “the fight against terrorism requires our intelligen­ce services to continue to be flexible and to be creative”.

Ms Begum’s return to the UK remains blocked, despite al-rashed’s involvemen­t in helping her cross the border into Syria in 2015.

Lawyers for Ms Begum, 21, say there is “overwhelmi­ng evidence” that she was a victim of traffickin­g and argue the Government has a legal duty to investigat­e the claims.

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