IS bride Shamima Begum to receive legal aid to challenge Home Office decision to revoke her citizenship
A TEENAGER who ran away to join the so-called Islamic State in Syria is receiving legal aid to help her fight the Home Secretary’s decision to strip her of her citizenship.
Shamima Begum was 15 when she left her home in east London with two other schoolgirls in 2015 to join the terror group.
Since leaving the country, she has travelled to Syria and married a Dutch jihadi named Yago Riedijk and had three children, all of whom died in infancy.
Now 19 she made headlines earlier this year when she revealed that she wanted to return to the UK.
However Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP made the decision to strip her of her British citizenship.
The Mail has reported that Ms Begum has been granted legal aid to help challenge that order.
According to reports, British taxpayers will now have to foot the bill as the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) looks to overturn the call to revoke her British citizenship, arguing that the decision was ‘unfair’.
The cost for taxpayers could reach into the hundreds of thousands and MPs have called it ‘disgusting’ and ‘ridiculous’.
Speaking to the Mail, Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘It’s absolutely disgusting how we are funding this person who is someone who joined an organisation that wants to destroy our way of life and our country.
‘How she has been allowed to sponge off taxpayers’ money to get back into a country that she hates is absolutely ridiculous.’
Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer for Ms Begum’s family, confirmed that their bid for legal aid had been granted after making an application on March 19.
He has since passed the case onto renowned human rights lawyer Gareth Pierce, who has represented clients such as former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg.
Ms Begum was partly inspired to travel to Syria by videos of fighters beheading hostages and partly by other propaganda films showing the ‘good life’ IS could offer.
The teenager has insisted she did not ask to be the subject of international media attention.