UK Govt Can Appeal Decision to Allow ISIS Bride’s Return to Fight Citizenship Stripping

Shamima Begum
Laura Lean - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The British government can challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow Shamima Begum to enter the UK to challenge her loss of citizenship.

In February 2019, the Conservative government stripped Ms Begum of her British nationality — barring her from the country — in response to her having travelled to Syria to marry a jihadist and join Islamic State.

Ms Begum’s legal team has been fighting the decision, with the Court of Appeal ruling in mid-July that the former teen ISIS bride can return to the UK to challenge in person the government’s decision.

The government has now been granted permission to appeal against that ruling, reported The Telegraph on Friday.

The judgment means that Begum will not be able to return to the UK during the duration of the government’s courtroom challenge.

From Bethnal Green, London, Ms Begum was one of three teenaged girls to fly to Turkey in February 2015 in order to travel on to Syria to join Islamic State and marry jihadists.

Begum claimed, then aged 15, she married Dutch Muslim convert and Islamic State militant Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in the terrorist-controlled territory. Fellow Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, are also believed to have married jihadists.

The former teen ISIS bride has claimed that the Home Office has denied her of citizenship and made her stateless, which is against international law. However, the government says that she is eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship owing to the Bangladesh nationality of her parents.

Home Office lawyers have stated “significant national security concerns” about Begum’s return.

The Henry Jackson Society has warned that if Begum is successful in her bid, it may open a path for some 150 other jihadists who have been stripped of their citizenship likewise to reenter the country.

Whitehall sources have also raised the problem that the security services will face if dozens more Islamists return to the UK. Monitoring resources are already under pressure, with MI5 aware of 43,000 extremists across the country, with 3,000 being closely monitored.


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