Shamima Begun

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Shamima Begun


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Shamima Begum (born 25 August 1999) is a British-born woman who entered Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group at the age of 15 and was consequently stripped of UK citizenship.Begum was a high school student at Bethnal Green Academy when she and two schoolmates travelled to Syria in February 2015. Her journey was facilitated by an IS smuggler who was providing information to Canadian intelligence. Begum married a fellow IS member 10 days after her arrival and had three children who all died young. The Daily Telegraph reported that Begum had developed a reputation as an enforcer amongst other members of IS and had tried to recruit other young women to join the group. In February 2019, Begum was discovered alive at the al-Hawl refugee camp in Northern Syria by war correspondent Anthony Loyd. The following day, British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, revoked her British citizenship. The British government believed that Begum was a dual citizen and also held Bangladeshi citizenship by descent but this has been contested by the Government of Bangladesh. Begum received threats from other residents at al-Hawl and was moved for her safety to the al-Roj refugee camp in Syria, where she remained as of February 2024.Javid stated that Begum would never be allowed to return to the United Kingdom. In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be permitted to return to the UK in order to fairly contest the Home Secretary’s decision by instructing lawyers properly. This ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which, on 26 February 2021, ruled unanimously against her, reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal and preventing her return.In February 2020, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission further ruled that Javid's decision to revoke Begum's British citizenship had been lawful, on grounds of national security. Begum also appealed this decision. In February 2024, the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal.