Shamima Begum will find out today whether she has won an appeal against the decision to remove her British citizenship.
In 2015, she and two other east London schoolgirls travelled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (IS).
Her British citizenship was revoked on national security grounds by then-home secretary Sajid Javid shortly after she was found, nine months pregnant, in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019.
She has been locked in a legal battle with the Government ever since.
Most recently, she and her team have challenged the Home Office at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in an appeal process.
Mr Justice Jay is now due to give the decision later this morning.
Ms Begum ‘clearly represents a threat’, according to one Government minister interviewed this morning.
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Veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer, asked about whether the 23-year-old should be allowed to return to the UK, told GB News: ‘That’s a decision for the Home Secretary and previous home secretaries.
‘Certainly, Sajid Javid when he was home secretary made the decision to revoke her citizenship. That’s a decision for them.
‘Of course she clearly represents a threat. But there is a lot of information in that case that is not in the public domain.
‘I don’t think it is worth discussing it in public. I think those decisions are made in the courts and in the Home Office, and I’m sure they’ll come to the right conclusion.’
During a five-day hearing in November, Ms Begum’s lawyers said that the Home Office had a duty to investigate whether she was a victim of trafficking before stripping her of her British citizenship.
The specialist tribunal heard said that she was ‘recruited, transported, transferred, harboured and received in Syria for the purposes of ‘sexual exploitation’ and “marriage” to an adult male’.
At a previous hearing in February 2020, SIAC ruled that the decision to remove her British citizenship was lawful as Ms Begum was ‘a citizen of Bangladesh by descent’ at the time of the decision.
However, her barristers said in November that the decision made her ‘de facto stateless’, where she had no practical right to citizenship in Bangladesh, with Bangladeshi authorities stating they would not allow her into the country.
Barristers for the Home Office defended the Government’s decision, arguing that people trafficked to Syria and brainwashed can still be threats to national security, adding that Ms Begum expressed no remorse when she initially emerged from IS-controlled territory.
Sir James Eadie KC, for the department, said there was ‘no “credible suspicion” that she was a victim of trafficking or was at real and immediate risk of being trafficked prior to her travel from the UK’.
Sir James said that the then-home secretary Mr Javid took into account Ms Begum’s age, how she travelled to Syria – including likely online radicalisation – and her activity in Syria when making the decision to remove her British citizenship.
He added that the Security Services ‘continue to assess that Ms Begum poses a risk to national security’.
The judgment is due to be handed down at 10am.
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