Published: Thu, February 21, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Britain to strip teen who joined Islamic State of citizenship: Lawyer

Britain to strip teen who joined Islamic State of citizenship: Lawyer

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said he would "not hesitate" to prevent the return to Britain of anyone who has supported terrorist organizations overseas.

She said the system required reform of children of extremists could "remain in the hands of their potentially unsafe parents".

She told The Times in an interview earlier this month that she has "no regrets" about joining the caliphate and described how seeing the severed head of a hostage dumped in a bin "didn't faze" her at all. "Our position is that to all practical purposes she has been made stateless", he added.

The British Nationality Act 1981 provides the Home Secretary with the power to take such action if it is "conducive to the public good".

Begum's dual nationality - as both her parents are of Bangladeshi - reportedly cleared the way for today's decision.

Conservative MP George Freeman condemned the decision to revoke Begum's citizenship, calling it a "mistake and a risky precedent". But was it the right move?

Welcoming the Home Secretary's decision, Mr McQuillan told the News Letter: "We don't have access to the information that Mr Javid has regarding what Ms Begum did during her time with Islamic State".

Shamima Begum's family put out a statement saying they were "very disappointed" with the Home Office's order and were "considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision".

"I think it's a very risky decision, it does create this perception that there is a two-tier system and a system that's frankly racist", Maher told BBC's Newsnight.

Conservative MP George Freeman said the move was a "mistake" that would set a "dangerous precedent".

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Shamima Begum going through Gatwick's security.

However this exception may only apply if Begum has taken up that citizenship, rather than it just being an option.

Ms Begum has previously said she travelled to Syria with her sister's United Kingdom passport but it was taken from her when she crossed the border. The 21-year-old from York, now legal guardian to Patricia, 13, argued Ms Begum was wrong to compare the bombing with air strikes on Daesh stronghold Baghuz.

The teenager, who said she had had no contact with British officials, added the government should not block her homecoming because she was "just a housewife" while there.

"A litany of failures" by her local council, the Met Police and her school led Shamima Begum to join terrorists group ISIS in Syria, her lawyer and a former Met Police chief superintendent have claimed.

She told The Times that Kadiza had died after a house was bombed, but the fate of her other friend is still unknown.

She gave birth to a boy over the weekend, having already lost two children, and made pleas for forgiveness and to be accepted back in the UK.

"Her two infant children were dead; her husband in captivity", reporter Anthony Loyd wrote.

Though it is unclear whether Begum has committed any crime, her apparent lack of remorse has triggered criticism from many who believe her decision makes her a permanent pariah in Britain.

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