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Teen who joined I.S. in Syria to lose UK citizenship

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:33s

Teen who joined I.S. in Syria to lose UK citizenship

Shamima Begum, a teenager who left London when she was 15-years-old to join Islamic State in Syria, has had her British citizenship revoked, according to a letter sent to her family.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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Teen who joined I.S. in Syria to lose UK citizenship

A teenager who left the UK to join Islamic State in Syria aged 15 has had her British citizenship revoked.

That's according to a letter sent to her family published by ITV News on Tuesday (February 19).

Shamima Begum - now aged 19 - was discovered in a refugee camp in Syria by a journalist earlier this month.

She gave birth to a son at the weekend, and has told reporters she wants to return to the UK with her child.

In 2015, she and two school friends were captured on camera as they left the UK to join Islamic State in Syria.

Begum had been living in Baghouz - I.S.'s last remaining stronghold - before arriving in the camp.

In an interview with Sky News, she admitted that while she knew executions were being carried out by the extremist group.

She was - quote - "okay with it" - because she had heard that "Islamically, that is allowed".

She added that Brits "should have sympathy towards her" for everything she has been through - but Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would quote "not hesitate" to prevent the return of anyone who has supported terrorism abroad.

A lawyer representing Begum's family said on Twitter they are "very disappointed", and are now considering legal routes to challenge the decision.

British media suggests that Begum could have her citizenship revoked because she is a dual British-Bangladeshi national.

Britain's Home Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S.-backed forces are on the brink of defeating IS in its last pocket in eastern Syria, where the U.N.

Says a few hundred Islamic State fighters and about 2,000 civilians are under siege.

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