Javid: ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighter’ Begum Solely Responsible for Death of Child

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Business Secretary Sajid Javid gestures after a photocall
Carl Court/Getty

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has hit back at accusations from the opposition that his decision to remove British citizenship from jihadi bride Shamima Begum resulted in the death of her child, saying that the “only person responsible” was Begum.

During questions in the House of Commons on Monday, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who claimed after the death of Ms Begum’s child at a refugee camp in Syria last week that Mr Javid had “behaved shamefully,” said, “This decision… has led, as night follows day, to this less than three-week-old baby dying.”

“The death of any British child, even one born to a foreign terrorist fighter, is of course a tragedy,” Mr Javid responded, “but the only person responsible for the death of that child is the foreign terrorist fighter.”

Referring again to the 19-year-old Begum and other ISIS brides as “women foreign terrorist fighters,” he reminded another female member of parliament that “no one should make a judgment on the threat that a foreign terrorist fighter poses to our national security based on their gender.”

Mr Javid also clarified that while it was a decision of journalists to put their own lives at risk by travelling to a war zone, he refused to send diplomatic agents to Syria to retrieve Begum’s Syrian-born child, who the Home Office determined was a British citizen.

A similar point was made by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Sunday, who said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, “The mother chose to leave a free country to join a terrorist organisation.”

“We have to think about the safety of the British officials that I would send into that warzone… Shamima knew when she made the decision to join Daesh, she was going into a country where there was no embassy, there was no consular assistance, and I’m afraid those decisions, awful though it is, they do have consequences,” Mr Hunt added.

Ms Begum, who left the UK in 2015, aged 15, with two other teenage girls to marry Islamic State fighters was discovered in a Syrian refugee camp by a Times journalist in mid-February. At the time pregnant with her third child and having buried two others within a year, she told several media outlets that she wanted to return to the UK to give birth.

Begum instead delivered her child in Syria, and her citizenship was revoked on grounds of security. Her son soon became unwell, and when Sky News asked her if she would allow the child to return to the UK she said that she would not, insisting he must stay with her.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.