Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said he moved to revoke Shamima Begum’s British citizenship over fears she might carry out a terror attack if she returned to the UK.
Asked by ITV’s Robert Peston about the risks of leaving someone in a warzone such as Syria, Mr Javid said he also had to weigh up the danger of what might happen in Britain if ‘someone’ was allowed back.
Although he would not comment on individual cases, Mr Javid spoke in broad terms understood to apply to Begum’s case.
‘Let’s say they are in the UK and they radicalise others and groom others, they carry out a terrorist attack themselves or incite others to do that,’ Javid said on Wednesday night.
‘What about the danger and the risk to the country of that? What about the impact on community cohesion if people come back to the country and use their presence here to try and racialize others? I have to weigh that up too.’
He also admitted it might be difficult to prosecute returning members of ISIS owing to the difficulty of collecting evidence from a warzone.
Jerah (covered up in a swaddle) is reportedly named after a 7th century Islamic warlord and will have the right to be British, Sajid Javid has confirmed
The Home Office believes that because Begum’s mother was born in Bangladesh her daughter is entitled to dual citizenship meaning she would not be left stateless if she was stripped of British nationality, which is illegal under international law.
But the chances of the 19-year-old returning to Britain may have increased after the Bangladeshi ministry of foreign affairs accused Sajid Javid of ‘erroneously identifying’ Begum as a dual citizen – and insisted she will not be allowed into the country.
After learning her fate ‘shocked’ Begum initially said she would seek citizenship in Holland – where her jihadi husband Yago Riedijk is from.
But the Dutch Government today also appeared to slam the door, telling the Sun Online Begum does not have the residence permit required to live there.
This is the moment ISIS bride Shamima Begum, pictured holding her baby son, learned that Sajid Javid has moved to revoke her British citizenship to stop her getting back to the UK
The Netherlands also does not offer its help to returning Dutch jihadis, and can also strip its own nationals of their citizenship if they are deemed a national security threat.
Shahrial Alam, state minister of foreign affairs in Bangladesh, said today that there is ‘no question’ of her being allowed into Bangladesh and that she is not a citizen of the country.
A person can only be stripped of their citizenship should they have dual nationality – as ministers cannot take it away if it would leave a suspect stateless. But Mr Alam has said she does not have this in Bangladesh.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid defended his decision in the on Peston tonight.
‘I have to go to bed at night and think “have I done everything I could to keep this country safe?”,’ he said.
‘My number one job is to do whatever I can to keep this country safe and I admit that sometimes when you make these decisions they are not easy decisions.
‘They can be very tough decisions, so many things to weigh up about the mortality of a decision, the legality of a decision, how it can have a huge impact on someone’s life.’
But the Home Secretary also had some tough words for those who left for Syria and now wish to return home.
‘These 900 fighters are people that chose to leave the UK and go and join a terrorist organisation that hates the UK and everyone that lives in the UK. They chose to do that against all foreign office advice,’ he told Peston.
Mr Javid had previously admitted that Begum’s baby son Jerah – apparently named after a 7th century Islamic warlord – could still be British.
As she gave a television interview while holding her newborn son, she said: ‘Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland. If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison’.
Riedijk, from Arnhem, joined ISIS in 2014 and married Begum within three weeks of her fleeing Bethnal Green for Syria in 2015. Two of their children died before the age of one due to malnutrition.
Experts have said that the jihadi couple’s newborn baby has the right to a UK passport and this could help his mother get back to the UK on human rights grounds.
Asif Salam, a London lawyer who runs the Salam Immigration firm, said today: ‘Because of the child, the mother could by default get back her nationality or get a limited leave to remain – to be able to live with her child in the UK’.
And Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed in the Commons this afternoon: ‘If a parent does lose their British citizenship it does not affect the rights of their child’ – meaning the baby would be allowed into the UK without his mother.
Begum has again called on Mr Javid to reconsider her case and show some ‘sympathy and understanding’ and said his decision to revoke her British citizenship is ‘unjust and unfair on me and my son’.
In a message for the Tory Home Secretary she said: ‘Give me a reason why they see me as a threat to the UK’.
The Tory minister responded by saying the decision to deprive someone of citizenship is ‘never taken lightly’.
Answering an Urgent Question on Removal of Citizenship Status, he said ‘almost all these decisions are made on what’s called the conducive test, whether it’s conducive to the public good’.
Mr Javid said in each case he looks at the evidence to ‘determine the threat that individual may pose to the country’, but will also ‘make sure that if we go ahead that they will not be left stateless’.
He added: ‘In every case [I have to be] absolutely confident that it is not only conducive to the public good, but it is legally proper and correct and compliant with both international and any relevant domestic law.’
But Begum’s family says she does not have a Bangladeshi passport and has never been there, making Mr Javid’s decision illegal, they claim.
Begum again called on Britain to show her ‘sympathy and understanding’ for what has happened to her in Syria – but did not apologise for joining ISIS
The letter obtained by ITV News asks Begum’s family to inform her of the decision to revoke her citizenship and her right to appeal it
Begum’s baby son Jerah is entitled to British citizenship – but could try to argue he is Dutch because of the nationality of its jihadi father Yago Riedijk. She may even try to get Dutch citizenship off the back of it
How Britain can strip citizenship from its enemies – as long as they are not ‘stateless’
Shamima Begum, who fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15, has been stripped of her British citizenship.
International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship.
Britain appears to believe that Ms Begum, who is of Bangladeshi heritage, holds dual citizenship.
Under the 1981 British Nationality Act, any Briton can be deprived of their citizenship if it is ‘conducive to the public good’ – and they do not become stateless as a result.
A 2017 government report on the issue said the Home Secretary has the power to ‘deprive a person of British citizenship’ if it would be ‘conducive to the public good’.
However, this only applies if the person would not be left stateless.
If it is the case Ms Begum is a dual national, she could have her British citizenship stripped.
Those who are outside of the UK have 28 days to lodge an appeal from the time they receive their Home Office letter.
The news was broken to the teenager today, who insisted: ‘It’s unjust on me and my son. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating. It’s kind of heartbreaking to read’.
Referring to other returnees handled by the government, she said: ‘I heard that other people are being sent back to Britain so I don’t know why my case is any different to other people, or is it just because I was on the news four years ago?’
Asked if she had a message for her family, Ms Begum said: ‘I want to apologise a lot for what I’ve put them through but right now I really need their help to bring me back. I can’t stay here. I can’t raise my son in this camp.’
In an interview with ITV News she was asked if she understood how she had ‘devastated’ their lives.
She said: ‘I saw on the internet the news and stuff and asking for me to come back. I thought I was doing the right thing by being a part of Islamic State and that they were wrong for staying in the UK, not wanting to come with me’.
Asked if she regretted it she said: ‘Yeah. I’ve seen the impact it’s had on them after I spoke to them. But after a while they got over it and the guilt kind of went away.
‘And they just forgot about it. They slowly got over it and they had to accept that I came, they had to accept the decision I made.’
The news was broken to the teenager today, who insisted: ‘It’s unjust on me and my son’
The remorseless 19-year-old, pictured here in an interview, is hanging her hopes on her captured husband Yago Riedijk being sent back to the Netherlands
Amir Khan, pictured with his wife Faryal Makhdoom, has blasted Shamima Begum and says she should be kept out of Britain for good
Amir Khan did not mince his words when he accused Begum of giving Muslims a bad name
Shamima is pictured walking through Gatwick Airport on February 17 2015 as she left the UK to join ISIS
Today boxing hero Amir Khan weighed in on the debate and blasted Begum saying: ‘You left to support terrorism, now live with it. [The] UK isn’t your home, stop giving us all a bad name please’.
Legal experts including Lord Carlile QC, Britain’s former reviewer of terrorism legislation, have said that it appears the Home Office does have a genuine case to revoke her British citizenship and keep her in Syria.
‘You left to support terrorism, now live with it’: Boxer Amir Khan blasts ‘arrogant’ jihadi bride Shamima Begum saying she shouldn’t be allowed back into Britain
Boxing hero Amir Khan today accused Shamima Begum of giving British Muslims ‘a bad name’ as he backed the decision to tear up her passport.
Mr Khan, from Bolton, also blasted her ‘arrogant’ and remorseless interviews from Syria.
He tweeted today: ‘You left to support terrorism, now live with it. After watching her video she doesn’t seem one bit upset and comes across so arrogant. UK isn’t your home, stop giving us all a bad name please’.
Mr Khan continues to be outspoken about his faith despite criticism from more conservative Muslims.
In December he was accused of ‘disobeying Allah’ after he posted a Christmas-themed picture on his Instagram account.
Khan’s wife Faryal Makhdoom also came under fire after she posted a photo of her and her husband at an awards event, days after she completed Umrah – the holy Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.
On that occasion, a critic wrote: ‘One day in Allah’s house wearing nikab and the next with her legs out.’
But her newborn son Jerah is entitled to a British passport and could be used by his mother to fight to return to Britain on human rights grounds.
Immigration lawyer Asif Salam told the
The teenager, who fled Britain with friends aged 15 and married a Dutch jihadi, has been unapologetic about ISIS’ crimes and said the Manchester Arena suicide bombing could be considered ‘retaliation’.
She also insists that the British public should be ‘sympathetic’ towards her and should be allowed back to London with her baby on human rights grounds.
But last night Sajid Javid last night moved to block her return to Britain arguing that taking away her British citizenship is ‘conducive to the public good’ on terrorism grounds.
Begum’s family solicitor Tasnime Akunjee said Shamima said last night was ‘surprised’ Mr Javid had come to his conclusion.
He said the family will ‘consider all legal avenues to challenge this decision’ in response.
Lord Carlile QC believes that Britain does have a strong case to block her from Britain.
He said: ‘The Home Office has had a good look at the law and the citizenship of Miss Begum. Under Bangladesh law if her mother is a Bangladesh national or a duel Bangladesh-British national then Miss Begum acquires Bangladesh nationality.
‘She doesn’t have a Bangladesh passport and apparently she’s never been there but that doesn’t effect that issue.
‘If she is a Bangladesh national as well as a British national then the Home Secretary, on the face of it, is entitled to remove her British nationality because she does not then become stateless.
‘Whether she wants to go to Bangladesh is another matter because they take quite a dim view of violent jihadism’.
He added: ‘She can challenge the Home Office – she is entitled to do that – but the test will be one of reasonableness and proportionality so she would have to establish that the Home Secretary acted in an entirely disproportionate way in removing her nationality. That might be difficult for her because he appears to have acted within the law if she is entitled to Bangladeshi nationality’.
Begum’s baby son Jerah is entitled to British citizenship – but could try to argue he is Dutch because of the nationality of its jihadi father Yago Riedijk.
He said: ‘This is even more complicated. The baby is entitled to British nationality. The baby is probably entitled to Bangladesh nationality and the baby’s father is Dutch.
‘Dutch law is a little different. If the father, who is apparently still alive, says the baby is his then the baby can also receive Dutch nationality. So that means that the Home Secretary could exclude the baby from Britai because the baby would not be stateless’.
He added: ‘This is going to drag on for months or even year’.
ISIS bride Shamima Begum has had her citizenship revoked according to a letter from the Home Office to her family – her Dutch ISIS fighter Yago Riedijk (right) could be key to securing an EU passport
Shamima Begum and her friend fled to Syria by flying to Istanbul and getting a bus across Turkey to the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa. She moved to Mayadin with her jihadi husband Yago Riedijk but fled Baghuz when he was captured and is now in al-Hawl
Begum’s family, from Bethnal Green in east London, were notified via a letter saying Home Secretary Mr Javid had started the process that will see Begum permanently banned from the UK.
Even terror-bride’s FAMILY think Javid was right to strip her of UK citizenship: Shamima Begum’s brother-in-law says government was right to take her passport away
The brother-in-law of the IS bride, Shamima Begum, said today he supports the decision to strip the schoolgirl of her UK citizenship.
Muhammad Rahman, 36, said today that the British public should get behind the government revoking the 19-year-old’s passport.
Mr Rahman’s brother is married to Shamima’s sister Renu.
He said: ‘I think we should support it, they [the government] are the people who are in the position to make the decision.
‘The people who are making these decisions are doing it for the country.
‘They don’t have an easy job, you can’t please everyone.
‘The information they have is to the best of their ability and the British people should support it.
‘I last spoke to Shamima when she was very young. I think it is upsetting for my sister-in-law and her side of the family.’
The family are ‘very disappointed’ by Mr Javid’s decision, according to statement by Mr Akunjee.
The Home Office letter asks that they pass on the decision – including that she has a right to appeal it – to Begum, who left their home in 2015 when she ran away with two school friends to join ISIS.
She is now stranded in a refugee camp in Syria as the so-called caliphate crumbles.
‘Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship,’ the letter reads.
‘In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served of file today, and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made.’
Only last week Britain’s MI6 chief said that UK nationals, even those who are members of terror organisations like ISIS, have a legal right to return home.
Government guidance from 2017 states that the Home Secretary has the power to order the deprivation if it would be ‘conducive to the public good’, as long as they are not left without any citizenship.
A Home Office spokesman said he could not discuss individual cases, but added: ‘We don’t leave people stateless.’
Mr Javid on Monday told the House of Commons: ‘The powers available to me include banning non-British people from this country and stripping dangerous dual nationals of their British citizenship.’
Shamima Begum, 19 (pictured before she left the country four years ago) is pleading with the government to allow her back into Britain
Revealed: At least 12 MORE British women besides ISIS bride Shamima Begum have arrived at Syrian refugee camps in the past week
At least a dozen British jihadi brides are said to have arrived at the al-Hawl camp where Shamina Begum is in northern Syria in the past week
Twelve other British jihadi brides have arrived at Shamima Begum’s refugee camp since she started her campaign to return to Britain, it emerged today.
The Home Office will be forced to make a decision on whether they too should have their British citizenship taken away like Begum.
These British women have run away as the caliphate crumbles with their husbands either killed or captured.
Britain could be forced to take back dozens of these other jihadi brides fleeing their collapsing caliphate.
Last week it emerged that ‘tens’ more jihadi brides are poised to come back to Britain as their medieval caliphate is finally driven into the ground.
There is furious opposition to the idea of Britain welcoming them back when they chose to embrace a terror organisation that horrified the world with videos of hostages such as volunteer aid worker Alan Henning being beheaded.
Over 100 people have already been deprived in this way.
PM urged to toughen Britain’s Treason Act to punish those who joined ISIS and keep 400 out of the UK
Theresa May has been urged to update the Treason Act to deal with potentially hundreds of British nationals who joined Islamic State (ISIS) returning to the UK.
In Prime Minister’s Questions the Conservative Philip Hollobone (Kettering) praised the decision to revoke citizenship from Shamima Begum, the teenager from east London who joined ISIS in Syria but wishes to come back.
But he said of the 900 British nationals who have travelled to the Middle East to support IS, only 40 have been prosecuted.
Mr Hollobone asked: ‘With 400 of these individuals set to come back to this country in the very near future, will the Prime Minister revisit the provisions of the Treason Act to make sure that these appalling activities receive suitable and just punishment?’
Mrs May said her priority was ‘ensuring safety and security in the UK’, adding that any British citizen who does return must be ‘in no doubt they will be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted’.
But she said there is an issue in making sure there ‘is evidence to enable a prosecution to take place’.
What will happen to Begum’s new born son, however, remains unclear.
He was born before his mother was deprived of citizenship – meaning he is still legally British.
And while theoretically he could also have his citizenship revoked, the government would need to show he himself posed a threat.
Begum’s first two children both died of unknown illnesses under ISIS.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey accused Mr Javid of ‘an abdication of responsibility’ by ‘palming off’ Begum on to another country.
‘The UK has more than enough terrorism laws to prosecute Shamima Begum here,’ he said.
Meanwhile Conservative chair of the Commons Education Committee, Robert Halfon, who had spoken out against allowing Begum to return, said in a tweet that Mr Javid had made ‘absolutely the right decision’.
The move comes after Begum returned to the public eye when she was found heavily pregnant living in a refugee camp in northern Syria.
She gave birth to a boy over the weekend, having already lost two children, and made pleas for forgiveness and to be accepted back in the UK.
Earlier on Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the 19-year-old could expect to be ‘spoken to’ if she comes back to Britain.
The initial police stance when Ms Begum left the UK in 2015 was that she may be treated as a victim of grooming, but the Scotland Yard chief said: ‘We’re a long way down the road since then.’
She added: ‘If she does, under whatever circumstances, arrive at our borders, somebody in her type of circumstances could expect, of course, to be spoken to and, if there is the appropriate necessity, to be potentially arrested and certainly investigated.
‘If that results in sufficient evidence for a prosecution then it will result in sufficient evidence for a prosecution.
‘The officers will deal with whatever they are confronted with.’
On Monday in an interview with the BBC Ms Begum compared the Manchester Arena bombing to military strikes on Isis strongholds, calling the terror attack ‘retaliation’.
There are currently plans to change the law to make travelling to certain terror hotspots a criminal offence, but this would not apply retrospectively to Ms Begum.
Around 425 suspected jihadi fighters are thought to have returned to the UK from Syria so far.
Before today’s decision, the Home Secretary had already hinted that he would block Begum from returning to the UK.
Earlier this week Mr Javid told MPs that no British troops would be used to rescue any Britons who travelled to Syria to support terrorism.
He said more than 900 people went to Syria or Iraq, adding: ‘Whatever role they took in the so-called caliphate, they all supported a terrorist organisation and in doing so they have shown they hate our country and the values we stand for.’
He went on: ‘Now this so-called caliphate is crumbling, some of them want to return and I have been very clear where I can and where any threat remains I will not hesitate to prevent this.
‘The powers available to me include banning non-British people from this country and stripping dangerous dual nationals of their British citizenship.’
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick previously said counter-terrorism police officers will ‘deal with whatever they are confronted with’ if Begum returns to the UK
Begum later told ITV News she did not see why the Home Secretary would see her as a threat.
Britons who have been stripped of their citizenship
Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed earlier this month that more than 100 dual nationals who travelled to join IS have had their UK citizenship stripped by the Home Office.
But there have been a number of different reasons for which Britons have lost their citizenship over the years – not just for association with Islamic State.
The ‘deprivation orders’ can be issued only to those with dual nationality as ministers cannot take away citizenship if it would leave a suspect stateless.
Among those to have had their citizenship revoked include:
The ‘Beatles’ who served Jihadi John and beheaded Western hostages on camera
Two members of the Beatles, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh were captured in northern Syria in January 2018.
Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh (rigth), who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed “The Beatles
They are currently being held by western-backed Kurdish forces in Syria having been stripped of their British citizenship – with the FBI hoping to put both on trial later this year.
Elsheik, 30, is a mechanic whose family fled to the UK from Sudan in the 1990s. Kotey, 34, converted to Islam as a teenager.
The two men, who were nicknamed The Beatles by captives due to their British accents, are accused of killing 27 hostages, including British aid workers and American journalists.
Man believed responsible for brutal execution tape by Islamic State in 2014
Ali Almanasfi, 28, who was assumed dead after an ambush by Syrian government forces back in 2013, was revealed to still be alive and living in the war-torn country – it was reported in November
Scores of his friends and relatives have said that the Almanasfi was the man responsible for a brutal execution tape released by the Islamic State in 2014.
Ali Almanasfi, 28, was believed to have been killed in Syria back in 2013
He had his British citizenship revoked by the Home Office last year, a move which his brother says means he will ‘die there’.
Almanasfi was said to have fallen in with Mohammed Emwazi and Alexe Kotey, who would later become members of the ISIS execution gang known as ‘The Beatles’, after being jailed for a violent assault.
Nigerian man known as L2 feared to be planning Paris-style terror attack
A Nigerian man closely linked to a group of British Islamists was stripped of his British citizenship in 2013 over fears he was planning a Paris-style terror attack in London.
The man, known only as L2 for legal reasons, was a member of the now banned radical group, al Muhajiroun, and was associated with friends of Lee Rigby’s killer Michael Adebolajo and Jihadi John.
His British nationality was removed by Theresa May after he was deemed such a threat to national security that she personally signed off on an order removing his citizenship.
Members of Rochdale paedophile ring
Taxi drivers Abdul Aziz, 47, Adil Khan, 48, and Abdul Rauf, 48, were among nine men jailed over appalling crimes against girls in Greater Manchester in 2012.
Abdul Aziz (left), 47, and Abdul Rauf (right), 48, are taxi drivers who were both jailed
The then home secretary
The Pakistani men were convicted in May 2012 of preying on girls in Rochdale, plying them with drink and drugs before they were ‘passed around’ for sex.
In December, Sajid Javid defended the Government’s right to strip the men of their British citizenship and deport them back to Pakistan.
‘I’m a 19-year-old girl with a new born baby. I don’t have any weapons; I don’t want to hurt anyone even if I did have weapons or anything,’ she said.
‘He has no proof that I was a threat other than that I was in ISIS, that’s it.’
Ms Dick said: ‘This case and other cases that are talked about in the same sentences just really underline how awful the circumstances are and have been in Syria and just how dangerous it has been, and would continue to be, for anybody from this country to think of travelling there.
‘Dangerous physically and dangerous legally.
‘If there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution it is our job to look at the threat they pose if they are returning from Syria and we do that with every single person who comes back from Syria and then manage the risk with colleagues in the (security and intelligence) agencies.’
Begum ran away to marry an ISIS fighter four years ago – but now wants to return to the UK after the terror group’s so-called ‘caliphate’ crumbled into dust.
The young mother also shrugged off the murders of British terror victims in an interview as she claimed they were ‘retaliation’ for the war being fought against ISIS.
On Monday Begum told the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville that she’s prepared to be jailed, was a ‘poster girl’ for the group and still has ‘sympathy’ for IS.
Mr Sommerville said she had ‘little to offer’ in apology to the millions of Iraqis and Syrians whose lives were destroyed by Isis.
The BBC’s Middle East correspondent added that when she was asked about the treatment of Yazidi women by Isis, she said: ‘Shia do the same in Iraq.’
The campaign by Begum’s family to have her returned to Britain sparked fresh controversy on Monday when the lawyer representing them, Tasnime Akunjee, compared the radicalised youngster to a ‘traumatised’ First World War soldier in a TV interview.
When Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley insisted she doesn’t look very traumatised, Mr Akunjee replied: ‘You might have said the same thing about a First World War soldier in the middle of shell-shock… they are both [in] warzones.’
It also emerged that Begum has called her son Jerah, in what historians have interpreted as a reference to Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, a 7th century Islamic warlord.
In other developments yesterday:
- A report revealed that a total of 156 cases involving children in danger of being radicalised had come before the British family courts since 2013;
- It emerged that a jihadi bride who returned to the UK from Isis territory had been told by the High Court last year that she was too dangerous to raise her toddler daughter;
- Scotland Yard commissioner Cressida Dick admitted that Isis brides could not be prosecuted for simply going to Syria.
Mr Javid has the power to strip someone of their British citizenship if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activity on the basis that that their presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.
However, he can’t exercise this power if it will leave someone stateless. Therefore it has to be used on those with dual nationality.
Sources last night claimed that in Begum’s case, she would not be left stateless because she has dual British and Bangladeshi citizenship.
But her family’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said the teenager was born in London and has only ever held a British passport.
The Home Office is understood to have invoked a Bangladeshi law whereby offspring of those born in Bangladesh are automatically entitled to citizenship of that country.
But it is likely that Bangladesh also has an option to refuse entry to those it considers a security risk.
The plight of Begum’s new baby son remains unknown and it is not clear whether the ban on entering Britain also applies to the infant. Her first two children both died of unknown illnesses under Isis.
Last night Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey accused Mr Javid of ‘an abdication of responsibility’ by ‘palming off’ Begum onto another country.
‘The UK has more than enough terrorism laws to prosecute Shamima Begum here,’ he said. ‘It’s disappointing that the Home Secretary has so little confidence in our justice system.
‘It is not only hard to see Ms Begum and her baby as constituting a serious threat to national security, but it also seems a huge wasted opportunity. We can learn lessons as to why a young girl went to Syria in the first place; lessons which could improve Britain’s security by helping us prevent this happening again.’
Labour MP Stella Creasy added: ‘However horrific her defence of Isis, if the Home Secretary can start with stripping this woman and her week-old child of their citizenship for his leadership bid… where does it end?’
Who were the five Bethnal Green girls who went to join ISIS?
Sharmeena Begum – Flew to Turkey from London Heathrow in December 2014. No relation to Shamima.
Unnamed 15-year-old – tried to go to Turkey on the same 2014 flight but was stopped before take-off.
షమిమా బేగం – One of the three who flew from London Gatwick to Turkey in February 2015 and then went on to Syria. Has pleaded to be allowed to return to the UK with newborn son.
Kadiza Sultana (left) and Amira Abase (right) from Bethnal Green in east London, travelled with Shamima Begum to Syria in 2015
Amira Abase – Flew out in 2015 with Shamima who said in yesterday’s interview she did not know whether Ms Abase was still alive.
Kadiza Sultana – Also flew out in 2015. Believed to have been killed in an airstrike in 2016.
Shamima Begum (left), who appeared on Sky News on Sunday pleading for sympathy, is like a shell-shocked First World War soldier, her lawyer Tasnime Akunjee (right) claimed
Immigration judges also have the power to reverse decisions to strip citizenship. Two alleged extremists who were stripped of their citizenship by the Home Office won their appeals three months ago on the grounds that the government’s intervention was ‘unlawful’.
ISIS bride ‘names newborn son after Islamic warlord’
British ISIS bride Shamima Begum has named her child after an Islamic warlord, historians have claimed.
Her chosen name for her son, Jerah, is thought to be in honour of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, who commanded a section of the Rashidun Army in the 7th century.
Historian Tom Holland tweeted: ‘If she’d wanted to signal that she was returning to Britain in peace, she might have considered naming her baby after someone other than Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, a general from the early days of the Arab conquests chiefly famed for beating the c**p out of infidels.
‘I guess, in a sense, she stands in the long tradition of British youth, flicking a V at the establishment. But punks were never complicit in genocide.’
Jerah was also the name of Begum’s first son, who died when she was living under ISIS.
The furore erupted after a heavily pregnant Begum was found at a refugee camp in northern Syria by a journalist from The Times.
Like other jihadi brides, she had fled the collapsing caliphate and begged to return to the UK so the NHS can care for her baby.
She declared no remorse over joining Isis and told how seeing a ‘severed head’ did not faze her.
After giving birth in the camp, she said she did not regret going to Syria because it ‘made her stronger’ – but said that people ‘should have sympathy’ towards her.
In one incendiary interview, the jihadi bride said she the devastating bombing on an Ariana Grade concert in 2017 which killed 22 innocent people was ‘retaliation’ for ‘women and children’ being bombed in Syria.
Survivors of the Manchester atrocity called her comments ‘outrageous’ and said she should not be allowed back into the country.
Alex Klis, 21, from York, whose parents Marcin, 42, Angelika, 49, were killed by the blast, told ITV: ‘I think she’s comparing two things that shouldn’t ever be compared. She’s saying that there are fighters in Islamic State that are getting killed.
‘Those people go there knowing what to expect. People who went to the Manchester Arena, they went there to take their kids to a concert.
‘She’s out of order, comparing those two things… She’s made her bed. I think she should remain where she is.’ Begum said before she fled to Syria with fellow Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, she watched Isis videos of ‘beheadings’.
She also watched propaganda videos before settling in Raqqa and marrying Yago Riedijk, a convicted terrorist who police believe was part of a cell plotting an atrocity in Europe.
The letter from the Home Office to Begum’s mother urged her to make her daughter aware of the decision, but added that she had a right to appeal.
Mr Akunjee said he was considering ‘all legal avenues to challenge this decision’.
‘The family are very disappointed with the Home Office’s intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship,’ he said. ‘The Home Office has tried to do this before and they have lost before.’ Earlier, the Met Commissioner said if the teenager returned to the UK she could face questioning but that the current law might not be sufficient to see her prosecuted. She added that many of those who have returned have led ‘peaceful lives’.
‘If she does, under whatever circumstances, arrive at our borders, somebody in her type of circumstances could expect, of course, to be spoken to and, if there is the appropriate necessity, to be potentially arrested and certainly investigated,’ Miss Dick said.
‘If there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution, it is our job to look at the threat they pose if they are returning from Syria. We do that with every single person who comes back from Syria and then manage the risk with colleagues in the [security and intelligence] agencies.’ There are currently plans to change the law to make travelling to certain terror hotspots a criminal offence, but this would not apply retrospectively to Begum.
Around 425 suspected jihadi fighters are thought to have returned to the UK from Syria so far.
‘Remorseless’ ISIS terror-bride Shamima Begum STILL supports rape and murder of Yazidi sex slaves
Shamima Begum left East London with two friends in 2015 to join Isis
Islamic State bride Shamima Begum still supports the enslavement, murder and rape of Yazidi women, it has emerged.
The mother-of-three, 19, who left Bethnal Green in East London with two friends in 2015 to join the terrorist group, has admitted she believes Isis propaganda.
And when she was asked by the BBC about the treatment of Yazidi women by Isis, she said: ‘Shia do the same in Iraq.’
Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville, who spoke to Begum, said she had ‘little to offer’ by way of apology to the millions of Iraqi and Syrian people whose lives were destroyed by Isis.
Begum has named her son Jerah, in what historians say is homage to an Islamic warlord
BBC Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville tweeted about his interview with Begum
The Yazidis are a religious minority in northern Iraq and Syria who suffered immensely at the hands of Isis, with women and children sold as sex slaves at auctions and thousands more killed.
Begum was partly inspired to flee Britain by videos of fighters beheading hostages and partly by other propaganda films showing the ‘good life’ Isis could offer.
Since she has been there, her two older children have died. The teenager insisted she did not ask to be the subject of international media attention.
She said: ‘I didn’t want to be on the news at first. I know a lot of people, after they saw that me and my friends came, it actually encouraged them.
Displaced Yazidi people flee violence from Islamic State forces in Sinjar, Iraq, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah governorate in August 2014
‘I did hear, yeah, a lot of people were encouraged to come after I left but I wasn’t the one that put myself on the news. We didn’t want to be on the news.’
But Sara Khan, the UK’s Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism, has branded Begum a ‘remorseless supporter of Daesh [ISIS]’.
Ms Khan said more needs to be done to stop the spread of extremist material online.
She told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It’s important to understand when she travelled … she was aware of Daesh beheadings and executions … was becoming more religiously inclined. There are questions about how a young girl was exposed to extremist ideology.’
So what on earth could happen next?
What are the rules on revoking citizenship?
Under the 1981 British Nationality Act, someone can be stripped of their citizenship if the home secretary is satisfied it would be ‘conducive to the public good’. The power was extended by the Immigration Act 2014. In the past two years, 194 people have been issued with ‘deprivation orders’ – mainly because they were terrorists, extremists and serious criminals. Crucially, they can only be issued to those with dual nationality because leaving a suspect stateless would breach international law.
Why did Javid act?
Ministers have in the past stripped jihadis and Islamic State brides of their citizenship and banned them from returning to Britain. Begum, 19, travelled to Syria four years ago as a schoolgirl, well aware of the terror group’s brutal reputation for beheadings, crucifixions and rapes. Since being discovered in a refugee camp – where she gave birth to a son – she has been unrepentant, even saying the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, which murdered 22, was ‘justified’. Despite apparently despising Britain, she wants to come home so she and her child can be looked after.
Does Shamima Begum have dual nationality?
Not according to her family’s lawyer. She was born in the UK, her birth was registered here and she has only held a British passport. But the 19-year-old mother has Bangladeshi parents and, under Bangladeshi laws, is automatically eligible to citizenship up to the age of 21. This is why the Home Office says she is not being made stateless. However, it is unlikely that Bangladesh will accept the terror sympathiser.
How did she react?
Speaking from the refugee camp after being informed of the decision yesterday, Begum said she was ‘a bit shocked’. She told ITV News: ‘I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it’s a bit unjust on me and my son.’
Can she appeal?
Begum has the right to challenge the Home Office’s decision either by tribunal or judicial review. Lord Carlile, a former reviewer of terrorism legislation, said: ‘The test will be of reasonableness and proportionality so she would have to establish that the home secretary acted in an entirely disproportionate way in removing her nationality.’ Mr Javid insists the ruling is ‘legally proper and correct and complies with international and domestic law’. However, last year the Government lost a case against two British-Bangladeshis stripped of their citizenship.
Will the case be concluded swiftly?
Unlikely. Begum’s family have indicated they will fight the decision, initially in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, so a protracted legal battle is looming. Because it is a complex issue, it could run through the courts for ‘a very long time’, said Lord Carlile. If it does, he predicted Begum could be forced to stay in the squalid refugee camp ‘for maybe two years at least’.
And her baby?
This is complicated. A child born to a British parent before they are deprived of their citizenship is still British. The fact the child was born abroad does not alter that fact. Mr Javid acknowledged that in the Commons, saying: ‘Children should not suffer… if a parent does lose their British citizenship, it does not affect the rights of their child.’ However, that would separate the baby from his mother – which potentially might be challenged as a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards family life. The baby’s father is believed to be Dutch, so he may be entitled to Dutch nationality – and probably Bangladeshi as well though his grandparents.
The public reaction?
Mr Javid will widely be applauded by the public, who are appalled that someone who has joined Islamic State and supported their atrocities should be allowed back into the country. He says his priority is to keep the country safe. However, he has been accused of ‘washing his hands’ of Britain’s responsibility – after all, she lived and was radicalised here. Certainly, it makes him look tough on terrorists – no bad thing if he has one eye on the Tory leadership. But if Begum’s appeal succeeds, Mr Javid will be left with egg on his face – although he will probably blame the judges.