LONDON: The UK government has shown reluctance to allow a British teenage girl, who had joined Daesh some four years ago, to return to the UK from Syria.
The teenager has expressed her desire to return to the UK. The international coalition launches its final battle against the group’s last stronghold in Syria.
However, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned he would not hesitate in preventing her from returning to the UK.
He said that his message was clear— if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad he will not hesitate to prevent your return.
“If you do manage to return you should be ready to be investigated, and potentially prosecuted,” he made it clear.
Earlier in an interview with the Times, now 19-year-old Shamima Begum appealed to the UK government to allow her to return for the sake of her unborn child. Her other children – a girl aged a year and nine months and a three-month-old boy – both died in recent months, with her son suffering an unknown illness worsened by malnutrition.
“I was weak,” she told reporters from the Al-Hawl refugee camp in north-eastern Syria. “I could not endure the suffering and hardship that staying on the battlefield involved. But I was also frightened that the child I am about to give birth to would die like my other children if I stayed on. So I fled the caliphate. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain.”
She and two of her fellow Bethnal Green Academy pupils, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, made headlines in 2015 when they ran away from home, entering Syria via Turkey. Settling in Raqqa, Begum married a Dutch convert after three weeks.
Begum said about the so-called caliphate. “There were so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory,” she said, but added: “I don’t regret coming here.”
Begum fled the town of Baghuz two weeks ago; her husband had surrendered himself to US-backed Kurdish militias, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).