Father of IS teen says Britain must take her back | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 26, 2019

Father of IS teen says Britain must take her back

The father of London teenager Shamima Begum, who married an Islamic State group militant in Syria, insisted in an interview with AFP yesterday that Britain must take her back before deciding any punishment.

Begum, who gave birth this month in a refugee camp, has said she wants to come home -- but the British government has decided to revoke her citizenship, calling her a security threat.

The 19-year-old's father Ahmed Ali said that while his daughter had made mistakes, Britain was duty-bound to let her return.

"The British government should take her back because she is a British citizen," said Ali, who has been following Begum's plight from a remote village in northeastern Bangladesh.

"If she has committed any crime, they should bring her back to London, to her country, and punish her there."

Begum left the UK for Syria with two schoolfriends in 2015, when she was just 15, and her case has caused political divisions in Britain.

It highlights a dilemma facing many European countries, divided over whether to allow jihadists and IS sympathisers home to face prosecution or bar them as the so-called "caliphate" crumbles.

Public sentiment hardened against Begum after she showed little remorse about IS attacks in media interviews from the camp in eastern Syria, where she arrived after fleeing fighting between the terror group and US-backed forces.

Ali, 60, said comments he had made to a London newspaper saying he backed UK interior minister Sajid Javid's decision to strip Begum of her nationality had been "misinterpreted".

"I don't think that (to revoke Begum's citizenship) was a right thing to do," he said.

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