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Jihadi bride Shamima Begum can argue she was ‘modern slavery’ victim to return to UK

Shamima Begum says she has 'the tools' to stop extremism

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The Bethnal Green schoolgirl, born and raised in this country, was just 15 when she left he UK in 2015 to join Islamic State. She was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019 in a move hailed by some as justice and slammed by others for setting a dangerous precedent.

Now living in the al-Roj camp in Syria, Begum has spent recent years attempting to be allowed back into the UK.

Her lawyer argues the case for her return has this week been “strengthen”.

This follows the dropping of a case against who has been reported as the youngest girl ever charged with terrorism in the UK.

Charges against the 16-year-old defendant were dropped after she successfully claimed she was a victim of modern slavery, reports the Mail.

The girl cannot be named because of her age.

But the dropping of the charges could be a big win for Begum, according to her lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee.

Akunjee said: “Shamima has been arguing this from the beginning.

“This just strengthens her case.”

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Late last year, Begum insisted she regretted joining IS and said she could be “useful to society” if she was allowed to return to the UK.

She told BBC Radio Five Live: “I will regret [joining IS] for the rest of my life.

“Whether you can see it on my face or not, it kills me inside.

“I lose sleep over it.”

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She later asked Boris Johnson, will on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, to allow her to become “an asset” in the fight against terror.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, quoted in the Mail, suggested the decision regarding the 16-year-old girl could apply to others.

He said: “Being both a victim of modern slavery and presenting a risk to the general public are not incompatible.

“If fewer criminal cases are going to be possible, this begs the question whether there are sufficient non-criminal justice measures in place, in particular, to deal with the terrorist risk presented by children.”

Late last year, Sajid Javid stood by his 2019 decision as Home Secretary to strip Begum of her citizenship.

He told ITV: “If you did know what I knew… you would have made exactly the same decision, of that I have no doubt.”

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