Shamima Begum, the British woman who joined ISIS as a teenager in 2015, is set to be allowed to return to the U.K. in order to challenge the government’s decision to strip her of citizenship.
Begum, 20, was stripped of her citizenship by the Home Office in 2019 on security grounds and left stranded in a Syrian refugee camp.
But the London court this week ruled that “the only way in which she can have a fair and effective appeal is to be permitted to come into the United Kingdom to pursue her appeal”, The Guardian reports. The Home Office has announced plans to “apply for permission to appeal” against the “very disappointing” decision.
Begum left Bethnal Green in east London with two teenage friends to join Isis in 2015, when the jihadist group was at the height of its power and held vast swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq. The three schoolgirls travelled via Turkey to the caliphate’s headquarters in Raqqa, where Begum married a Dutch convert recruit.
One of the other girls who travelled with her, Kadiza Sultana, was later killed in a bombing attack, according to Sky News. What happened to the third – Amira Abase – is unknown.
Four years after arriving in Syria, and following the territorial defeat of Isis, Begum was found in a Syrian refugee camp in northeastern Syria. She was nine months’ pregnant.