Shamima Begum returning to UK from Syria to fight for her citizenship 'would create significant national security risks'

ISIS bride Shamima Begum returning to the UK to fight for her citizenship would create "significant national security risks", the Supreme Court heard.

The 21-year-old fled East London for Syria with two other schoolgirls to join the bloodthirsty terror group in 2015.


Begum, then aged 15, is being held in a camp in the war-ravaged country after being stripped of her British citizenship last year on national security grounds.

They believe her return to the UK would bring an “increased risk of terrorism” to the country and could open the floodgates for up to 150 ISIS recruits to follow. 

But the Court of Appeal ruled she should be allowed back into the UK to fight to win back her citizenship.

Justices at the Supreme Court will now consider whether she can come back to appeal against the decision in a two-day hearing.

LEGAL CHALLENGE

The landmark case at the UK's highest court has heard how her citizenship was stripped as she "presented a current threat" to national security.

Sir James Eadie QC, for the Home Office, told how an MI5 assessment found those who went to Syria to join ISIS were “radicalised and desensitised”.

He warned the threat assessment was not “an exercise in certainty”, saying that attacks on the UK could – like the 7/7 plot – come “out of a clear blue sky”. 

Sir James said: "Those who have travelled to align and then have aligned (with ISIS) pose a clear and serious threat specifically on return.

"The threat would increase significantly if they were to return to the UK.”

He explained Begum's age when she left and whether she had been radicalised was considered but the circumstances "did not alter the threat that it was assessed she posed by 2019".

He added: "The exposure of the public to an increased risk of terrorism is not justifiable or appropriate in this case on fairness grounds.

"A national security threat means a threat of the most serious kind to the public, and thus engages the paramount responsibility of the state to protect its citizens from terrorism.

"That aim is defeated, and the public placed at increased risk, if return is allowed."

'RISK OF TERRORISM'

Downing Street has determinedly fought to stop Begum setting foot on British soil amid reports she was a part of the cruel “morality police” in ISIS.

She also callously dismissed the Manchester bombing victims in an interview last year.

And the jihadi bride brazenly spoke of her time with the murderous group – claiming she once saw a severed head in a bin but the gruesome sight “did not faze” her.

Sir James said: "She married an IS fighter, lived in Raqqa – the capital of the self-declared caliphate – and remained with them for about four years until 2019, when she left from, in effect, the last pocket of IS territory in Baghuz."

He continued: "Can it be right that a person who has involved themselves in terrorism, and is now abroad and subject to restrictions that affect their ability to participate in domestic proceedings, is able to rely on those self-created impediments to insist on return to the jurisdiction to enable them to participate now in such proceedings?"

But her barrister Lord Pannick QC said the Court of Appeal correctly decided Begum should be allowed to enter the UK to "pursue a fair and effective appeal".

He added: "The power to deprive a person of British citizenship is one of the most severe and intrusive powers that Parliament has conferred on the Secretary of State.

"A deprivation order is far more serious in its consequences than most criminal penalties."

JIHADI BRIDE

Begum travelled to Syria with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, then 16 and 15, via Turkey in 2015.

Days later, she married Dutch jihadi fighter Yago Riedijk and had three kids with him, who all later died.

Kadiza Sultana is believed to have died since then and the fate of Amira Abase remains unknown.

Earlier this month Riedijk, 28, told his wife to "stay strong" and vowed to live with her again.

In footage obtained by The Sun, when filmmaker Alan Duncan asked him what message he’d send to his wife, he said: “Stay strong, even though it’s very difficult all the things we’ve been through.

“I’d tell her to make use of your time, do whatever you can and learn whatever you can in order to build a future for yourself… for us.

“In terms of taking care of future children, in terms of being a future housewife.”

The case continues.


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