Merseyside shooting range defends using images of ISIS bride

Merseyside shooting range defends using images of ISIS bride

A shooting range is using an image of ISIS bride Shamima Begum as a target after receiving a 'record number' of requests from customers. The Ultimate

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A shooting range is using an image of ISIS bride Shamima Begum as a target after receiving a ‘record number’ of requests from customers.

The Ultimate Airsoft Range in Wallasey, Merseyside, has defended using a picture of the teenager’s face for shooting practice after facing a fierce backlash. 

Owners of the attraction, which is used by children as young as six, said the move was in response to her ‘lack of remorse and empathy’ in television interviews.

Images taken inside the range by a visitor show a picture of Begum’s face torn apart with at least 100 bullet holes. 

Begum, 19, from Bethnal Green, east London, left the UK for Syria in 2015 with her  school friends Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join ISIS.

The bullet ridden target of Shamima Begum in an image taken by a customer who visited the range

The bullet ridden target of Shamima Begum in an image taken by a customer who visited the range

The bullet ridden target of Shamima Begum in an image taken by a customer who visited the range

Begum (pictured with her baby in a Syrian camp for captured ISIS wives) left the UK for Syria in 2015 with her Bethnal Green schoolmates Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join the terror group

Begum (pictured with her baby in a Syrian camp for captured ISIS wives) left the UK for Syria in 2015 with her Bethnal Green schoolmates Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join the terror group

Begum (pictured with her baby in a Syrian camp for captured ISIS wives) left the UK for Syria in 2015 with her Bethnal Green schoolmates Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase to join the terror group

Her appeal to be brought home with her newborn baby has caused outrage across Britain, and sparked a political row after she was stripped of her citizenship.

Michael Jones, from Liscard, owns Ultimate Airsoft Range in the secret World War Two tunnels of New Brighton, Wirral, with his partner Emma Saul.

The firm had posted a tweet, which has now been removed, with a video showing the targets being printed off, alongside the hashtags ‘Isisbride’ ‘traitors’ ‘made your choice’ and ‘no remorse’. 

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show today revealed that images of the 19-year-old were being used at the range.

A tweet posted by the shooting range featured a video showing the target with Shamima Begum's face being printed from a machine

A tweet posted by the shooting range featured a video showing the target with Shamima Begum's face being printed from a machine

A tweet posted by the shooting range featured a video showing the target with Shamima Begum’s face being printed from a machine

On their social media page, the company say they are 'The UK's No 1 airsoft shooting range' (pictured) located in 'New Brighton's WW2 secret tunnels'

On their social media page, the company say they are 'The UK's No 1 airsoft shooting range' (pictured) located in 'New Brighton's WW2 secret tunnels'

On their social media page, the company say they are ‘The UK’s No 1 airsoft shooting range’ (pictured) located in ‘New Brighton’s WW2 secret tunnels’

Michael Jones, from Liscard, owns Ultimate Airsoft Range (pictured) in the secret World War Two tunnels of New Brighton, Wirral, with his partner Emma Saul

Michael Jones, from Liscard, owns Ultimate Airsoft Range (pictured) in the secret World War Two tunnels of New Brighton, Wirral, with his partner Emma Saul

Michael Jones, from Liscard, owns Ultimate Airsoft Range (pictured) in the secret World War Two tunnels of New Brighton, Wirral, with his partner Emma Saul

The programme also told how customers can choose to shoot at other high profile figures, including  Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump, Margaret Thatcher and even pop star Justin Bieber.

Labour MP Angela Eagle, for Wallasey, condemned the move, saying: ‘I am not in favour of using real people as targets, whether it it Trump or anyone else.

‘It sends the wrong message, especially for six year olds who might be playing.’

It was met with a furious reaction online, with tweets branding the targets ‘abhorrent’ and ‘furthering of hate.’

One said: ‘This is dreadful, I do no want her back in the country but I would not condone anything like this. 

‘Quite honestly I think that if she came back she would not be safe here anyway.’

Customers can choose to shoot at other high profile figures, including Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump, Margaret Thatcher and even pop star Justin Bieber

Customers can choose to shoot at other high profile figures, including Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump, Margaret Thatcher and even pop star Justin Bieber

Customers can choose to shoot at other high profile figures, including Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump, Margaret Thatcher and even pop star Justin Bieber

Another wrote:  Disgraceful. How is this not a furthering of hate?’

And another user added: ‘This is abhorrent. How would they feel if that picture was a member of their family?’

But others defended the move.

One user tweeted: ‘Childish and distasteful but in a free society I guess they can shoot at whatever targets they please. 

‘I can’t see how it’s any different from the picture of Thatcher I had on my dartboard as a kid.’   

In a statement, Ultimate Airsoft Range said: ‘The targets provide some fantastic reactions and conversations and allow people to have some light-hearted fun and bring out the inner child in us all.

‘The targets don’t always reflect personal opinions and we don’t want to condone terrorism.

ISIS bride Shamima Begum pictured with her baby as she was interviewed by the media at a camp in Syria

ISIS bride Shamima Begum pictured with her baby as she was interviewed by the media at a camp in Syria

ISIS bride Shamima Begum pictured with her baby as she was interviewed by the media at a camp in Syria

‘But after watching the interview with Ms Begum being interviewed, there was a lack of empathy that she had shown and we decided to listen to our customers and use them as targets’

On their social media page, the company say they are ‘The UK’s No 1 airsoft shooting range’ located in ‘New Brighton’s WW2 secret tunnels’.

They said: ‘Ages 6+ can participate with an accompanying adult.’

Airsoft guns used to shoot the target are replica weapons used in airsoft sports.

Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) and her family are all pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 

Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) and her family are all pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 

Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) and her family are all pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain 

They are a special type of very low-power air guns designed to shoot non-metallic spherical projectiles – often referred to as ‘BB’ pellets.

Begum wants to return to the UK for the sake of her newborn third child, but has been stripped of her British citizenship.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the move on advice that she qualified for Bangladeshi citizenship through her mother, although authorities there have said they will not let her enter the country.

Begum’s father, Ahmed Ali, said his 19-year-old daughter should face justice in Britain despite previously appearing to back the removal of her citizenship.

The teenager, who married Dutch IS fighter Yago Riedijk, had two older children who both died.

Mr Ali told ITV News: ‘I don’t think he’s (Sajid Javid) done the right thing because she is a British citizen, and if it turns out she has committed any crimes, then she should face justice in the UK.

‘She belongs to this country, she belongs to England. My daughter was a little child, she made a mistake, she didn’t properly understand.’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was criticised after saying Begum should be allowed back into the UK and given the ‘support that she needs’.

He accused Mr Javid of a ‘very extreme manoeuvre’ in stripping her of British citizenship – on the basis that she is entitled to live in Bangladesh because her parents were born there.

Mr Corbyn said making Begum stateless is ‘not the right thing to do’.

She had ‘a lot of questions to answer’ but should be allowed to return to the UK and ‘at that point any action may or may not be taken’. 

He added: ‘The idea of stripping anyone of their citizenship when they’re born in Britain is a very extreme manoeuvre. I question the right of the Home Secretary to have these powers.’

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