UK Revokes Citizenship of ‘No Regrets’ ISIS Jihadi Bride Shamima Begum

Shamima Begum
Laura Lean - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The British Home Secretary has written to the parents of Jihadi bride Shamima Begum to inform them their daughter’s UK citizenship has been revoked.

Sajid Javid, the Conservative minister responsible for UK home affairs made the decision after a week of intense public interest in the requests by Miss Begum, made via a series of interviews with the compliant British press, that she wanted to return to the United Kingdom to enjoy a quiet life with her child.

Update 1030 — “It’s a bit unjust on me and my son…”

Shamima Begum has been in more or less constant contact with British journalists who have done a good job allowing her to plead her case to the British people since she was discovered in the Syrian refugee camp last week. Somewhat inevitable, therefore, to see a television crew on hand immediately to get her reaction to Sajib Javid’s decision this morning.

The unrepentant Islamist radical told ITN that the decision was “heartbreaking”, “hard to swallow”, and “I’m a bit shocked… It’s a bit unjust on me and my son.”

A reminder, if one were needed, that this is a woman calling unjust a legal decision who said of seeing the decapitated head of a non-Muslim in the Islamic State that: “it didn’t faze me at all”.  She told The Times last week:

You see [the severed head] and you think, “oh, what has this man done to Muslim women and Muslim children and who were they fighting for?” And what are they fighting for, you know? They’re fighting against us, they want to kill us. What would this man do if I was in front of him right now, would he want to kill me? But instead I see a beheaded head in the bin and, it didn’t faze me at all.

The original story continues below:

British broadcaster ITN published reproductions of the letter received by Begum’s parents printed on Home Office letterheaded paper, informing them she had the right to appeal the decision. British law prevents citizenship from being revoked if that would render the individual stateless.

Given Begum’s Bangladeshi heritage, it is speculated that she now reverts to being a sole Bangladesh citizen.

Begum left the UK as a 15-year-old Bethnal Green schoolgirl in 2015, flying first to Turkey and then travelling by land to the Islamic State where she married a Danish-born jihadist fighter and bearing him three children.

Despite her pleas to be allowed back to the United Kingdom, stating: “I just want to come home to have my child. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child”, Begum made a number of incongruous statements since which had the apparent effect of outraging the British public. Last week, a petition to the Home Secretary to ban all ISIS members from travelling to the UK was gaining 10,000 signatures an hour.

Breitbart London’s James Delingpole wrote of the unvarnished honesty with which Begum described her situation:

She’s so outrageous, so unapologetic, so unsympathetic in every way that I’m convinced she must be a double agent for Mossad or MI6, there to show the world just how incredibly far we have to go if ever we’re going to get on top of the global radical Islam problem.

Take her recent interview with ITN news, in which she declared:

“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. He [Home Secretary Sajid Javid] has no proof I’m a threat – other than that I was in ISIS, but that’s it.”

Don’t you just love that “other than that I was in ISIS”? It reminds me of that old joke: “But apart from that, how was the play Mrs Lincoln?”

Begum also spoke of witnessing a decapitated head, which didn’t faze her because it was of a non-Muslim, and rationalised the Manchester bombing in which 23 — mostly children and young people — were killed because it was “justified” as part of a war between Islam and the West.

Ultimately, Begum said, she did not have second thoughts about joining the Caliphate and even expressed regret at its demise, and at running away from the final jihadist territory as the battle raged.

Her comments and requests to come home sparked a public debate about how the United Kingdom treats returning Islamists who, having spent years in Syria and Iraq under the Islamic State have become jaded and battle-hardened. Renewed attention has also focussed on the nation’s lack of functioning treason laws, a shortcoming frequently blamed on Tony Blair’s criminal law reforms of the late 1990s.

The Home Secretary’s decision to strip Begum of her citizenship will come as a surprise to many. Large numbers of not just Jihadi fighters, but also brides have already returned to the United Kingdom and Europe as the Islamic State faltered, creating a huge task for Western security forces.

Breitbart London reported in 2018 as dozens of women and their children prepared to move to England from camps in Syria and Iraq where they lived after surrendering to military forces. In one case, a Jihadi bride was issued with a new passport and paperwork for her children so she’d be able to travel back to Britain easily.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook


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