Shamima Begum was banned after intelligence showed she was a threat

Shamima Begum was banned from UK after intelligence said she was ‘active with Islamic State’ and she will NEVER be ‘welcome on our streets’ says Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as terror attack survivor says she has ‘no place in British society’

  • Mr Wallace said removal of citizenship based on intelligence ‘she was a threat’
  • A survivor of a UK terror attack insisted Begum ‘knew what she was getting into’

Jihadi bride Shamima Begum will never be ‘welcome on our streets’ says Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, after intelligence showed she was ‘active with the Islamic State’.

Ms Begum left east London at the age of 15 to join the Islamic State in 2015, after which the government stripped her of her UK citizenship on national security grounds. 

Yesterday she lost her bid to reverse the decision to revoke her UK nationality, meaning she will not be able to return to London from the refugee camp in northern Syria she currently lives in.

Mr Wallace defended the Home Secretary’s decision, and said it was ‘based on very real intelligence that showed she was a threat’.

While a terror attack survivor insisted she has ‘no place in British society’.

Shamima Begum was told she would never ‘welcome on our streets’ by the Defence Secretary (pictured this year on The Shamima Begum Story, a 10-part BBC podcast) 

Ben Wallace said that intelligence showed Shamima Begum was ‘active with the Islamic State’ and would not be welcome back to the UK

Mr Wallace told The Sun: ‘I never took, and nor did the Home Secretary, any of the decisions lightly to strip people of their citizenship.

‘And we did so based on evidence, intelligence, and reasons that were there to protect society. I’m pleased the tribunal upheld the ruling’

Jade Clough, who was seriously injured terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017, said Ms Begum has ‘absolutely no place’ in British society.

Ms Clough, a teacher, said she was happy with the decision and believes that Shamima Begum should stay where she is.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: ‘She chose to go to a war zone when she was a teenager but girls her age who chose to go to a concert in Manchester never came back.

‘Those innocent pop fans never came home so why should she?’

Roy Larner, nicknamed the ‘Lion of London Bridge’, was stabbed eight times after he confronted knife-wielding IS murderers in 2017.

He told The Sun that she should ‘rot where she is’ and that she ‘knew exactly what she was getting into’.

Mr Larner, who still suffers from PTSD, believes she ‘probably still supports the nutters like the ones who attacked me’.

Roy Larner, nicknamed the ‘Lion of London Bridge’, said Ms Begum she should ‘rot where she is’

Begum on Sky News in 2019, when she said of ISIS: ‘It was nice at first, like in the videos’

In the run-up to yesterday’s court hearing, Ms Begum made numerous media appearances – including a magazine cover, TV interviews and a 10-part BBC podcast series.

Shamima Begum Q&A: What does yesterday’s ruling mean for her future?

What happened in court today? 

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) has refused to overturn former home secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to strip her of her British citizenship for fleeing the UK to join ISIS. 

Judges said that while there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ this was not enough for her appeal to succeed. 

Mr Justice Jay added that whether she posed a threat to national security was a decision for politicians, not the courts.  

What does it mean for Ms Begum?

The ruling means she will not have her British citizenship restored or be allowed to return to the UK. 

She will stay in the Al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, where she is effectively stateless after being rejected by both the UK and Bangladesh – where she also has a claim to citizenship. 

What do Ms Begum and her lawyers plan to do next? 

Ms Begum’s legal team will now challenge the judgment and seek to have it overturned in the Court of Appeal. Her lawyer Daniel Furner said the case was ‘nowhere near over’ and they would be challenging the ruling.

What does this mean for other ISIS members who’ve been stripped of their citizenship?

Dozens of other former ISIS members have had their citizenship taken away after being accused of joining ISIS. These include Jack Letts, nicknamed ‘Jihadi Jack’. 

It is not clear today’s ruling will affect their cases because judges based their decision on factors specific to Ms Begum’s case. 

However, the Independent Reviewer on Terrorism Legislation, Jonathan Hall KC, said he believes Britons stranded in Syrian refugee camps would probably have to return at some point.

The MI5 took a dim view of her publicity campaign, a judgment written by Mr Justice Jay read: ‘In September and November 2021, Ms Begum was interviewed by Good Morning Britain and Sky News.

‘She denied reports in the media that she had sewn suicide vests or been part of ISIL’s [ISIS’s] morality police and claimed that her activities were limited to being a housewife and mother.

‘The MI5 assessment is that many of the comments Ms Begum made in her later interviews are likely to have been self-serving and an attempt to obtain favourable media coverage in the run-up to this appeal.’

The jihadi bride was 15 when she and two other east London schoolgirls fled to join ISIS in February 2015, with Ms Begum marrying a 23-year-old ISIS fighter ten days after arriving in Syria.

Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by the former home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.

Ms Begum, now 23, brought a challenge against the Home Office at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), where her lawyers argued she should be allowed to return to Britain on the basis she was ‘a victim of child sex trafficking’.

However, the Home Office defended the decision by saying the security services ‘continue to assess’ that she poses a risk to the UK.

Judges dismissed Ms Begum’s challenge yesterday, ruling that while there was a ‘credible suspicion’ that Ms Begum was trafficked to Syria for ‘sexual exploitation’ this was not enough for her appeal to succeed.

Ms Begum’s lawyers vowed to appeal the ruling, while a legal expert warned the taxpayer would continue to receive a massive bill for legal aid costs.

Paul Fulcher, who runs specialist firm Legal Costs Experts, has predicted the case could end up costing taxpayers more than £5million when all legal costs are accounted for.

He told MailOnline today: ‘It’s going to go on. Her lawyers have come out and said they’re going to keep fighting. Ultimately they get paid win, lose or draw.

‘The taxpayer has probably already paid out millions and it’s likely to be millions more.

‘KCs can charge £5,000 a day, although legal aid doesn’t usually pay out at those rates. Then there’s the solicitors and a massive team behind them too.’

The jihadi bride appearing on Good Morning Britain in an exclusive interview in September 2021 

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