11:48 GMT24 October 2020
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    Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer representing Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old who left London four years ago to marry a Daesh fighter in Syria, triggered controversy when he made the dubious comparison.

    Speaking to the hosts of Good Morning Britain, the lawyer compared Begum, who has just given birth in a Syrian refugee camp and has appealed to return to the UK but still pledges support to the Daesh ideology, to a "shell-shocked World War I soldier."

    "It's difficult to take what she said in the current circumstances and try to draw from the lack of emotion or otherwise she has. She's a traumatised person," Akunjee argued.

    When he was challenged by the host on his claims, the lawyer added:

    "You might have said the same thing about a First World War soldier in the middle of shell-shock… they are both [in] warzones."

    Begum, who was only 15 when she left Britain, said in a recent interview she was "just a housewife" during her time with Daesh but still supported the caliphate mentality.

    Following the lawyer's suggestion Begum could be likened to a World War I soldier, reactions poured in online.


    When questioned in a recent interview about terror attacks — inspired by the Daesh ideology — that resulted in deaths of many Brits, Begum said it could be compared to victims of fighting in Syria.

    "I do feel that is wrong that innocent people did get killed. It's one thing to kill a soldier, it's fine, it's self-defence. But to kill people like women and children just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings — it's a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now. It's kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification."

    According to her lawyer, Begum's family in the UK "are aware of how people feel, "but it's their daughter and their grandson, who came into existence yesterday."

    "I think any parent would think the same thing. They want them home. It wouldn't matter if the whole planet were against her. She's a British citizen at the end of the day. There's an innocent child here, the baby. Bringing that child back into safety is a moral duty any state would have," the lawyer argued.

    Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, centre and and Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey on Tuesday Feb 17, 2015
    © AP Photo / Metropolitan Police
    Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, centre and and Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey on Tuesday Feb 17, 2015

    British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that Daesh supporters who do manage to return to Britain should be ready to be "investigated and potentially prosecuted".

    "My message is clear — if you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return. If you do manage to return you should be ready to be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted," Javid said.

    With the emergence of the Daesh* terror threat and heightened fear of foreign fighters, the UK government increased its citizenship revocation powers.

    The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (passed in 2014 and enacted in 2015 via Royal Assent) provides the UK government the power to "disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to engage in terrorist activity and then return to the UK."

    Since 2006, UK authorities have revoked the citizenship of dozens Brits, including members of the so-called ‘Jihadi Beatles' group.

    READ MORE: Threat by Jihadist 'Wives and Children' and How France, Britain Deal With It

    *Daesh (aka Islamic state/ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia


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