The debates over how the UK should treat so-called “cubs of the caliphate” and their mothers, who fled to Syria to marry ISIS fighters but want to return back to Europe as the jihadists were curbed, has flared up over the case of one of such women – Londoner Shamima Begum who had her citizenship revoked.
Two more ISIS wives from the UK, sisters Reema (30) and Zara (28) Iqbal have had their passports revoked since marrying jihadists linked to murdering western hostages, The Sunday Times reports, citing legal sources. According to the outlet the young women are in separate camps Syria, where they fled after ISIS were curbed and squeezed from the occupied territories.
The Iqbals, whose parents are reportedly originally from Pakistan, left London for Syria in 2013 after they married suspected jihadists, who were linked the murder of western hostages, who were butchered on camera. The women have five boys, aged not older than 8, between them. The younger sister gave birth to two children in Syria, where she traveled already heavily pregnant with her second boy, while her older sister gave birth to children both in the UK and Syria.
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As the BBC reports, the Home Office refused to comment on individual cases, adding that decisions to strip citizenships were “evidence-based and not taken lightly.”
The news comes hot on the heels of the latest development in the case of 19-year-old Shamima Begum from London, whose story put Home Secretary Sajid Javid on the hot seat following media reports about the death of her baby son. Upon hearing the news, UK Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott slammed Sajid Javid for behaving “shamefully”, saying that he was responsible for the boy’s death.
The minister has not provided any comment since the boy’s death, he said prior to this news that he felt “nothing but sympathy” for “perfectly innocent” children born in the war zone.
Begum, currently staying at a refugee camp in Syria, has voiced a desire to come back to the United Kingdom, but the Home Office has been unwilling to authorise her return. The Home Office was ready to accept the boy while she was deprived of her citizenship, but the young woman did not want to be separated from her son until his death from pneumonia just three weeks after he was born.
Shamima Begum, who joined the ISIS terror group in Syria back in 2015, when she was aged 15. Her newborn son died of pneumonia, less than three weeks after his birth. Begum has previously lost two children. Her husband, a Dutch ISIS fighter called Yago Riedijk, is currently in a prison in Syria.
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