Shamima Begum WINS bombshell bid to return home and challenge for her British citizenship

SHAMIMA Begum has today won a bombshell legal ruling to be allowed back to the UK to challenge her revoked British citizenship.

In a shock ruling, judges said the jihadi bride's appeal to return home "outweighed national security concerns".


The move could now open the door for other ISIS brides and fighters to make similar audacious bids to return to Britain.

It is a "bitter blow" for the government who revoked her citizenship last year – sparking an appeal which has cost taxpayers more than £30,000 so far.

One source said today: "Why should anyone who leaves the UK to join IS then complain when they have their British passport taken away?

"Shamima Begum made a conscious choice to go to a terrorist warzone, where she has now been stranded. 

"She's not able to appeal her case in person as a direct result. Many people will rightly ask, 'Where's the unfairness in that?'"

But Lord Justice Flaux – sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh – said: "Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, so that the leave to enter appeals should be allowed."

The Court of Appeal ruled: "The only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal."

Now, 20, Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS.

After marrying an ISIS fighter and sewing terrorists into suicide vests, she was found pregnant more than three years later in a Syrian refugee camp – her baby boy died not long after being born.


The then Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship on national security grounds.

She claimed the decision was unlawful and took legal action against the Home Office, arguing she had been left stateless.

Figures show her lawyers have claimed £14,500 in legal aid trying to win back her UK citizenship – but sources say the true public bill is at least double and tops £30,000.

When she was discovered and stripped of her citizenship, her own dad slammed her choice to run away to join the terror group.

Ahmed Ali said he was "on the side of the government" and condemned her lack of remorse before claiming he was misquoted.

Now that she is able to leave the camp in Syria and return to the UK to launch her appeal, it is likely the Government would struggle to send Begum back to a war-torn country – even if she fails to get citizenship back.

Sajid Javid warned: "Most critically, allowing her and indeed other terrorists back into the UK to pursue an appeal would create a real security risk that cannot be fully mitigated, even with the diversion of significant resources.

"If Ms Begum does come to this country it will prove impossible to remove her."

Following the ruling a Home Office spokesperson said: “This is a very disappointing decision by the Court. We will now apply for permission to appeal this judgement, and to stay its effects pending any onward appeal.

CITIZENSHIP FIGHT

“The Government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe.”

Lord Justice Flaux ruled "the national security concerns about her could be addressed and managed if she returns to the United Kingdom".

He said she could be arrested and charged when arriving back in the UK if there is "evidence and public interest tests for prosecution for terrorist offences".

In February, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled the decision to strip her of citizenship was lawful, as Ms Begum was "a citizen of Bangladesh by descent" at the time of the 2019 decision.

Today her solicitor Daniel Furner, from Birnberg Peirce, said in a statement after the ruling: "Ms Begum has never had a fair opportunity to give her side of the story. The court itself noted the 'obvious' difference between interviews given to journalists, and instructions provided to a solicitor in court proceedings.

"Ms Begum is not afraid of facing British justice, she welcomes it. But the stripping of her citizenship without a chance to clear her name is not justice – it is the opposite."

What did Shamima Begum do?

Begum and two pals – Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – ran away to Syria in February 2015.

Begum used her elder sister’s passport to flee with her Bethnal Green Academy friends.

The trio flew to Turkey and then crossed the border into Syria with the aid of smugglers.

Within weeks of arriving, Shamima was married to Isis jihadi Yago Riedijk, 27, from Holland.

They had two children who died from malnutrition and disease.

The couple were separated as they fled Baghouz, the village where a few hundred Isis fighters were holed up in a desperate last stand.

Shamima ended up in a Kurdish refugee camp where she gave birth to her third child.

Eldest sister Renu revealed that her family had lost contact with her for the “longest time” until she was found by a Times journalist.

Sir James Eadie QC, representing the Home Office, said previously: "The fact that the appellant could not fully engage with the statutory appeal procedure was a result of her decision to leave the UK, travel to Syria against Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice and align with ISIL.

"This led to her being held in conditions akin to detention in a foreign state at the hands of a third party, the Syrian Defence Force.

"It was not the result of any action by the secretary of state and the deprivation decision did not have any causative impact on the appellant in this respect."

Ms Begum was one of three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy who left their homes and families to join ISIS, shortly after Sharmeena Begum – who is no relation – travelled to Syria in December 2014.

Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, then 16 and 15 respectively, and Ms Begum boarded a flight from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, on February 17 2015, before making their way to Raqqa in Syria.

Ms Begum claims she married Dutch convert Yago Riedijk 10 days after arriving in ISIS territory, with all three of her school friends also reportedly marrying foreign ISIS fighters.

She told The Times last February that she left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband but her children, a one-year-old girl and a three-month-old boy, had both since died.

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