Shamima Begum could return to UK due to international pressure

International pressure is mounting on government ministers to allow the repatriation of ‘jihadi brides’ who fled the UK to join ISIS.

Lobby efforts spearheaded by US government may result in the return of many brides, including Shamima Begum, one of three British schoolgirls who left East London for Syria eight years ago.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman is said to have strongly opposed the plan in the weeks leading up to her dismissal by the Prime Minister last month.

According to reports, Ms Braverman objected to the direction taken by the Foreign Office’s push under James Cleverly, citing security concerns about allowing these women to return.

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A security source is reported by Mail Online as saying: “We think there could be dozens of these women, and each one would need to be monitored 24/7 by a team of specialist police officers, which would be a massive drain on resources.”

Shamima Begum, then 15, travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State in 2015.

Her British citizenship was revoked shortly after she was discovered in a refugee camp in February 2019 on national security grounds.

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According to UK charities working to return these women, there are approximately 20 British jihadi brides and approximately 40 children still present in Middle Eastern refugee camps following the fall of the Islamic State.

The Mail Online reports that Washington has been urging the UK to repatriate its citizens who are either being held in Kurdish prisons or living in refugee camps in northern Syria.

Following the expulsion of the Islamic State from Syria by Kurdish forces with American support in 2019, male fighters, including British men, were detained in northern prisons, while women and children were detained in two refugee camps.

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