19-year-old Shamima Begum, a Muslim London teenager who left Britain in 2015 to join Daesh, has been stripped of her UK citizenship by the government because she is a dual British-Bangladeshi national, UK media cited White Hall sources as saying on Wednesday.
A letter to Begum’s mother obtained by ITV News reads, "Please find enclosed papers that relate to a decision taken by the Home Secretary, to deprive your daughter, Shamima Begum, of her British citizenship”.
Her family's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said that they are “very disappointed with the UK Home Office's intention to have an order made depriving Shamima of her citizenship”.
Akunjee added that the family is “considering all legal avenues to challenge” the decision.
Earlier, a Home Office spokesperson said that they did not comment on individual cases but “any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly”.
“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,” the spokesperson pointed out.
The statement came after Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned that Shamima Begum would "face consequences" for supporting Daesh.
According to him, the UK has been able to stop over 100 suspected returning militants and their families from entering because they were foreign citizens, those that were dual-nationals have had their British citizenship stripped.
At the same time, he said that “where individuals do manage to return, they will be questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted”.
Shamima Begum, who married a Daesh militant in Syria after running away from the UK with friends her Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultanan in 2015, recently made headlines by saying that she wants to return to Britain.
She told The Times in an interview earlier this month that she has "no regrets" about joining the caliphate and described how seeing the severed head of a hostage dumped in a bin "didn't faze” her at all.
In a separate interview with Sky News, she claimed she was “just a housewife” in Daesh’s caliphate in Syria and that UK authorities had no evidence of her “doing anything dangerous”.
Earlier, she'd acknowledged that she still supports the rape and murder of Yazidi sex slaves; the Yazidis are a religious minority in northern Iraq and Syria.
Lawyer Tasnime Akunjee, in turn, responded to claims that she didn't appear traumatised in interviews by saying that “you might have said the same thing about First World War soldiers in the middle of shellshock”.
*Daesh(ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a spate of other countries