ISIS Bride Shamima Begum Loses Appeal To Reclaim UK Citizenship

ROJ CAMP, NE SYRIA - MARCH 14: British-born Shamima Begum from Bethnal Green in London, wh
Sam Tarling/Getty Images

A British court has denied an appeal by Shamima Begum, the former bride of an Islamic State fighter, to regain her British citizenship, which was stripped by the government in 2019.

Begum, who travelled to Syria in 2015 when she was 15 to join the Islamic State terrorist group and subsequently married an Islamic State fighter and had three children, was stripped of her British citizenship by former home secretary Sajid Javid in 2019.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission has now ruled that the move to strip Begum of her citizenship was justified, which meant she was not able to return to the UK after being captured and held in a prison camp for Islamic state members, the BBC reports.

During the case, Begum’s lawyers claimed that she had been a victim of child trafficking and had been subjected to grooming, along with her friends.

Judge Sir Robert Maurice Jay, released a summary of the case saying, “The commission concluded that there was a credible suspicion that Ms Begum had been trafficked to Syria.”

“The motive for bringing her to Syria was sexual exploitation to which, as a child, she could not give a valid consent,” he said and added, “The commission also concluded that there were arguable breaches of duty on the part of various state bodies in permitting Ms Begum to leave the country as she did and eventually cross the border from Turkey into Syria.”

Despite this, Mr Justice Jay stated that those concerns did not override the duty of former home secretary Javid to strip her of her citizenship over issues of national security.

The ruling is just the latest blow for Begum, who has attempted several times to regain her lost citizenship, arguing in 2020 that the decision to strip her of her citizenship left her as a stateless person. The argument did not sway the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which rejected the appeal.

Over the last several years there have also been several apparent efforts by the mainstream media in the UK to rebrand and restore the image of Begum, who was described as an enforcer of the terror group’s harsh sharia law.

The most recent attempt to portray Begum as a victim and celebrity took place this month when the BBC and the Times newspaper published pieces on Begum, with the Times article entitled “Shamima Begum is not a threat: She’s totally broken and needs help.”

Despite the media coverage and attempts to rebrand Begum, some have remained consistent that she should be treated as a security threat to the UK, including Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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