A British court on Thursday ruled that Shamima Begum, a London-born woman who joined terrorist group Islamic State in 2015, can return to the U.K. to challenge an earlier verdict that stripped her of her British citizenship.
The decision to allow Begum back into the country came several months after the U.K. government’s Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that she had been lawfully deprived of her citizenship because she is “a citizen of Bangladesh by descent” and not stateless.
But a judge at the Court of Appeal on Thursday said that “fairness and justice must, on the facts of this case, outweigh the national security concerns, so that the leave to enter appeals should be allowed,” Sky News reported.
“National security concerns about [Begum] could be addressed and managed if she returns to the United Kingdom,” he added.
“This is a very disappointing decision by the court,” a spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office said. “We will now apply for permission to appeal this judgment.”
Begum, who is now 20, was part of a group of three schoolgirls from London who traveled to Syria to join Islamic State in 2015. When she was found in a Syrian refugee camp four years later, Sajid Javid, then the U.K. home secretary, took her citizenship away.
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