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Britain could be forced to take ISIS bride Shamima Begum after all as Bangladesh and Netherlands slam the door on her

The country said the teen is not a Bangladeshi citizen so there is “no question” of her being allowed in – despite Britain’s move to strip her of her UK citizenship.

“The government of Bangladesh is deeply concerned that (Begum) has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship,” Shahrial Alam, state minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement issued to the Guardian.

“Bangladesh asserts that Ms Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She is a British citizen by birth and never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh … There is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh.”

The Home Office had claimed she has dual British-Bangladesh nationality due to her parents being from Bangladesh.

This afternoon's news will comes as a hammerblow to Home Secretary Sajid Javid who today told MPs he would not back down in his determination to deprive the 19-year-old her UK citizenship.

While saying he could not talk about individual cases, he said those who had stayed with ISIS in Syria had “turned their back on this country”.

“I have been resolute that where they pose any threat to this country I will do everything in my power to prevent their return,” he said.

Holland have also slammed the door on Begum saying she does not fit the criteria for residency as she does not have the right documents and it doesn't offer sanctuary to those who have returned from Syria.

The runaway teen had reportedly planned to get back with her Dutch jihadi husband and make a new life in the Netherlands after being stripped of British citizenship.

Earlier she said: "Another option I might try with my family is my husband is from Holland and he has family in Holland.

"Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland. If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison."

It now looks like she has nowhere to go and, as it is illegal under international law to deprive someone of their nationality if to do so would leave that person stateless, she may return to Britain after all.

The teenager, who fled the UK to join the terror group in 2015, had asked the Home Secretary to allow her to return to raise her baby.


Footage published by ITV showed her reading a copy of the Home Office "citizenship" letter her parents received yesterday.

It stated: "In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary's decision has been served of file today (19th February), and the order removing her British citizenship has subsequently been made."

Begum responded by saying she would like Home Secretary Sajid Javid to "review my case again and have a bit more sympathy for me and understanding, and you know, maybe give me a reason why they see me as a threat to the UK".

She added: "I'm a bit shocked… It's a bit unjust on me and my son."

Her comments come despite openly admitting she doesn't regret joining ISIS, that the Manchester Arena bomb attack was "justified" and that she hopes to be reunited with her jihadi husband.

The 19-year-old, who gave birth to her baby boy on Sunday, said she had not been informed of the decision prior to seeing the letter.

She added: "I don't know what to say. I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating.

"It’s kind of heartbreaking to read. My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK when I was speaking to them in Baghouz. It’s kind of hard to swallow.

"I heard that other people are being sent back to Britain so I don’t know why my case is any different to other people, or is it just because I was on the news four years ago?"

She then suggested she might try use her marriage to Dutch jihadi Yago Riedijk as a means of gaining citizenship in Europe.

"Another option I might try with my family is my husband is from Holland and he has family in Holland.

"Maybe I can ask for citizenship in Holland. If he gets sent back to prison in Holland I can just wait for him while he is in prison."


What we know so far:

  • Shamima Begum, from Bethnal Green, London, fled the UK to join ISIS in 2015 aged 15
  • The pregnant 19-year-old was then found in a refugee camp in Syria last week
  • In interviews she said she wanted to return to the UK to raise her unborn baby
  • Victims and relatives of the Manchester bombing innocents reacted with outrage
  • She gave birth to her baby boy, whose dad is a Dutch jihadi, on Sunday
  • Yesterday her family revealed the Home Office had revoked her UK citizenship
  • She claims this decision is "unjust", and "heartbreaking" and she may try move to Holland

An official Home Office letter breaking the shock news was delivered to Begum's "disappointed" family earlier yesterday.

However, Begum's brother-in-law broke ranks with her parents and immediate family to say he supported the decision as it was in the best interests "of the country".

The letter – obtained by ITV News  – went on to urge the Begum family to make their daughter aware of the decision while adding she had the right to appeal.

It's not yet known how the ban will affect her newborn son Jerah – who is half British and half Dutch.

The teenager's family have said they are “disappointed” by the Home Office's decision, said their lawyer Tasnime Akunjee.

He tweeted: "We are considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision."

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

However, Mr Akunjee, told The Independent the 19-year-old is a sole British national and had "never had a Bangladeshi passport".

'WE SHOULD SUPPORT IT'

Meanwhile, Begum's brother-in-law today broke ranks with her parents' stance and backed the government decision to strip her of her citizenship.

Muhammad Rahman, 36, is married to Shamima's sister Renu.

He said: "I think we should support it, they (the government) are the people who are in the position to make the decision.

The people who are making these decisions are doing it for the country. They don't have an easy job, you can't please everyone.

"The information they have is to the best of their ability and the British people should support it.

"I last spoke to Shamima when she was very young. I think it is upsetting for my sister-in-law and her side of the family."

Speaking hours after the teenager's family revealed she will never be able to return to the UK, he added: "I have made comments and it's upset them. I don't know Shamima, I last saw her when she was very young.

"It sounds bad but it doesn't affect my life, it affects her family who I am not that close to. I don't want to upset my sister-in-law but I don't really know that side of the family.

"They are extended family, I think it's often like that."

'NOT TAKEN LIGHTLY'

The Home Office has declined to comment on Mr Akunjee's allegations but said: "We do not make people stateless."

Earlier, a spokesman said: “In recent days the Home Secretary has clearly stated that his priority is the safety and security of Britain and the people who live here. In order to protect this country, he has the power to deprive someone of their British citizenship where it would not render them stateless.

“We do not comment on individual cases, but any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly.”

The Conservative chair of the Commons Education Committee, Robert Halfon, who had spoken out against allowing Shamima to return, said in a tweet that Mr Javid had made "absolutely the right decision".

While Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey said: "Membership of a terrorist group is a serious crime, as is encouraging or supporting terrorism. But Shamima Begum should face justice for those crimes in the UK.

"It is not only hard to see Ms Begum and her baby as constituting a serious threat to national security, but it also seems a huge wasted opportunity.

"We can learn lessons as to why a young girl went to Syria in the first place – lessons which could improve Britain's security by helping us prevent this happening again."

However, last night one immigration lawyer told the Daily Star she may get back into Britain because of her baby.

BABY CHANCE

Asif Salam, an immigration solicitor from Salam Immigration, said:  "The child cannot possibly live without his mother, it’s not in his best interest for the child to be in the UK without the mother.

"So because of the child, the mother could by default get back her nationality or get a limited leave to remain – to be able to live with her child in the UK."

Earlier we reported how Begum will be quizzed by cops and could be arrested if she returns to the UK.

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the teenager would be spoken to by counter-terror cops if she were to return to the UK from Syria.

She said: "If she does… arrive at our borders somebody in her type of circumstances could expect, of course, to be spoken to and if there is the appropriate necessity, to be potentially arrested and certainly investigated.

"If that results in sufficient evidence for a prosecution then it will result in sufficient evidence for a prosecution. The officers will deal with whatever they are confronted with."

The former Brit schoolgirl fled from her home in Bethnal Green, East London, as a 15-year-old to join Islamic State in 2015.

She has this week pleaded to be allowed to return home after giving birth to a baby boy.

Ms Begum said in a BBC interview: "I actually do support some British values and I am willing to go back to the UK and settle back again and rehabilitate and that stuff."

She added: "The poster girl thing was not my choice."

ARENA OUTRAGE

However she also said the murder of 22 music fans in the Manchester Arena suicide bombing was “fair justification” for air raids on IS in Syria.

Showing no remorse, the 19-year-old dismissed the atrocity at the 2017 Ariana Grande ­concert as “retaliation.”

She left London in February 2015 with two school friends to follow another classmate to Syria.

She said one friend, Kadiza Sultana, had died in an airstrike but the other Bethnal Green girls, Amira Abase and Sharmeena Begum, had stayed with ISIS in Baghuz.

She said she feared she will never see her husband Riedijk again, whom she still loved “very much”.

Riedijk, 26, a convert to Islam who grew up in a middle-class family home in Arnhem, is suspected by police of being involved in a terrorist plot in the Netherlands.

He was convicted in his absence last year of membership of a terrorist group.

Why and how was Shamima Begum stripped of her British citizenship?

The Home Secretary's power to deprive someone of their British citizenship is covered by Section 40 British Nationality Act 1981.

It states the Home Sec must be satisfied "it would be conducive to the public good to deprive person of his or her British nationality.

The official regulations add "that s/he would not become stateless as a result of the deprivation."

Home Office guidance states that 'Conduciveness to the Public Good' means "depriving in the public interest on the grounds of involvement in terrorism, espionage, serious organised crime, war crimes or unacceptable behaviours."

If Shamima Begum decides to appeal the decision to impose deprivation of citizenship order she has 28 days to appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

 

Questions have been raised over whether Britain would be able to prevent Begum's eventual return to the UK.

Shamima's parents had been consulting their lawyer about legal action against the government to force it to allow the teenager back into the country.

However, Home Secretary Sajid Javid had warned he "will not hesitate" to prevent the return of Britons who travelled to join ISIS.

According to the BBC, 12 other British women have arrived at displacement camps in northern Syria in the past week.







 

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