Jihadi Bride Shamima Begum Given UK Taxpayer Funded Legal Aid

Metropolitan Police / AP

A jihadi bride is set to receive large sums of taxpayer-funded legal aid from the British government despite having her citizenship revoked.

Shamima Begum left the UK to join the Islamic State in Syria in 2015 when she was 15 years old, where she married a Dutch citizen jihadi fighter with whom she had three children.

Now the controversial figure is to receive large sums of public money in legal aid to fight her case to return to the UK. The BBC reports the decision to give her financial aid to challenge the government’s decision to revoke her citizenship has already been made.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said of the case “on a personal level, it makes me very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices.”

He continued, “However, we are a country that believes that people with limited means should have access to the resources of the state if they want to challenge the decisions the state has made about them and, for obvious reasons, those decisions are made independent from politicians.”

He added that “The decision to deprive her of her citizenship was taken by a politician. Obviously the decision about whether she accesses legal aid or not has to be done independently,” reports the Daily Telegraph.

Tory MP Philip Davies called the decision to grant Begum legal aid “absolutely disgusting”, adding, “How she has been allowed to sponge off taxpayers’ money to get back into a country that she hates is absolutely ridiculous.”

Despite volunteering to live under the brutal regime of the Islamic State, Begum has pleaded her innocence, claiming she was lured to Syria under false pretences and was a simple housewife under the regime. New evidence has since come to light, however, that suggests that Begum was allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle and was a ‘morality enforcer’ in the caliphate, enforcing rules such as strict dress codes for women.

In this role, she is believed to have seen many women lashed or imprisoned for violating strict IS laws. One activist said of the morality enforcers and of Begum herself, “some of them were very harsh and the local population became very scared,” and that they all “knew Begum well”.

Begum, who previously spoke of being unmoved by seeing a decapitated head in a bin, is currently in a Syrian refugee camp where she has been since the collapse of the IS caliphate. She has requested to return to Britain but her citizenship was revoked by Home Secretary Sajid Javid in February.

The jihadi bride has now recruited one of the UK’s top human rights lawyers to defend her in her bid to be allowed to return to the UK. Gareth Peirce has previously represented hate preacher Abu Qatada and has been previously described as representing “every accused Jihadist and IRA suspect”.

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