By Tony Winterburn • 23 November 2020 • 22:09
Shamima Begum returning to the UK ‘poses a security risk’, the Supreme Court was told.
Shamima Begum’s return to the UK would pose a security threat, lawyers for the Home Office argued, as she challenges the removal of her British citizenship in the Supreme Court. Ms Begum, now 21, was one of three east London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group (IS) in February 2015.
She lived under IS rule for more than three years before she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February last year. Then-home secretary Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship on national security grounds later that month.
In an appeal to the Supreme Court, government barrister Sir James Eadie QC said the home secretary believed Ms Begum posed a real threat.
Sir James said: “If you force the secretary of state to facilitate a return to the UK… the effect is to create potentially very serious national security concerns. You can’t keep the person out of the jurisdiction – and that is a highly valuable weapon in the armoury of public protection.”
In a written submission to the court, he added: “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 proceedings, is able to rely on those self-created impediments to insist on a return to the jurisdiction to enable them to participate now in such proceedings?”
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