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Isis bride Shamima Begum appeals against loss of British citizenship as she tries to return to the UK | UK News



Shamima Begum, the east London schoolgirl who travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State terror group, is today launching a legal challenge against the government’s decision to strip her of her British citizenship.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) is beginning a four-day preliminary hearing in central London, brought by Ms Begum’s family and supporters.

It follows a decision in February, by the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid, to revoke her UK citizenship, because it was claimed she posed a continuing risk to the public.

Shamima: ‘A bit shocked’ at losing citizenship

Ms Begum, now 19, left the UK in 2015 to become a jihadi bride – along with two other schoolgirls from Bethnal Green in east London.

After the disintegration of the terror group, the former Bethnal Green Academy pupil was found in a northern Syrian refugee camp in February, with other former IS brides and their children.

Ms Begum, who was found by reporters in the al-Hawl refugee camp, said she was married just 10 days after arriving in Raqqa to Yago Riedijk, a Dutchman who had converted to Islam and became an IS fighter.

But she caused widespread outrage when she appeared in her interview to be unmoved by the horrors the group had perpetrated during her time with them.

She told a reporter from the Times newspaper: “When I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam. I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”

Kadiza Sultana (L), Shamima Begum (C) and Amira Abase going through Gatwick security before catching a flight to Turkey
Kadiza Sultana (L), Shamima Begum (C) and Amira Abase going through Gatwick security before catching a flight to Turkey

Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship just days after that interview – a decision which would only be lawful if it did not leave Ms Begum stateless.

At the time, sources suggested the teenager, whose parents are from Bangladesh, may also have Bangladeshi citizenship.

But Bangladesh’s minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam claimed those reports were false and warned that Shamima Begum would not be allowed into his country.

Begum, who now claims to hate IS, has begged to be allowed back into Britain for therapy, after all three of her children died in Syria.

The SIAC court, which rules on decisions to remove British citizenship on security grounds, will hear some of the more sensitive intelligence-related evidence in private.

The current home secretary Priti Patel has doubled down on her predecessor’s decision to remove the 19-year-old’s citizenship.

She told the Sun on Sunday newspaper last month: “Our job is to keep our country safe. We cannot have people who would do us harm allowed to enter our country – and that includes this woman.

“Everything I see in terms of security and intelligence, I am simply not willing to allow anybody who has been an active supporter or campaigner of IS into this country.”

:: Sky News is broadcasting a Brexit-free channel, weekdays 5pm to 10pm on Sky 523

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