ISIS bride Shamima Begum — the British woman who fled to Syria to join the terror group in 2015 and quickly married one of its fighters — can return home to appeal the decision to strip her of citizenship, a court ruled Thursday.
Begum, 20, was 15 when she took off with two other schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in East London to join the terror group.
The UK-born teen married an ISIS fighter two weeks later and lived in Raqqa, the capital of the self-declared caliphate.
Begum turned up last year at a refugee camp in Syria, where three of her children died. She told reporters that she wished to return home.
But former Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped her of her citizenship months later, with its domestic intelligence agency considering her a security threat.
He argued that she was Bangladeshi by descent and could go there instead.
Begum has been challenging that decision since, saying she’s not a citizen of Bangladesh and that Javid’s decision left her stateless.
Three judges from England’s Court of Appeals on Thursday unanimously agreed that she could have a “fair and effective appeal” only if she were allowed to return to Britain.
“Fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns,” judge Julian Flaux wrote in a ruling. “I consider that Ms. Begum’s claim for judicial review of the decision of SIAC (Special Immigration Appeals Commission)… succeeds.”
The judges said if there’s sufficient evidence that Begum is a security threat, she could be arrested upon her return.
Her lawyer, Daniel Furner, said in a statement, “Ms. Begum is not afraid of facing British justice, she welcomes it. But the stripping of her citizenship without a chance to clear her name is not justice — it is the opposite.”
Begum drew backlash after appearing indifferent to the horrors committed by ISIS.
“When I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam,” she said in a previous interview. “I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”
She also said the 2017 ISIS attack in Manchester that left 22 people dead was justified.
Britain’s interior ministry said it was “very disappointed” by the court’s decision.
“We will now apply for permission to appeal this judgment, and to stay its effects pending any onward appeal,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “The government’s top priority remains maintaining our national security and keeping the public safe.”
With Post wires
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