The Met has plans to cope with any threat posed by Islamic State bride Shamima Begum if she returns to Britain to fight for the return of her citizenship, Scotland Yard’s chief said today.
Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said she did not know what danger the Bethnal Green schoolgirl — who ministers have deemed a security threat — might present if she is brought back from a refugee camp in Syria.
But she insisted police would be “prepared” for the challenge and took “hugely seriously” the risk that people returning from Syria and other jihadi conflicts could pose.
Her comments follow last week’s Court of Appeal ruling that Begum, who left London at the age of 15 with two classmates from Bethnal Green to join IS fighters in Syria, must be allowed to return to Britain to challenge a Home Office decision to remove her British citizenship.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the Government will seek to overturn the ruling in the Supreme Court.
That means that Begum’s return is likely to remain on hold, but Dame Cressida said: “Whenever anybody who has been apparently or actually involved in or supporting terrorism overseas comes back to the UK we will always have a plan that is appropriate.”
She insisted that police will not be ending the use of the term “Islamist” to describe jihadi terrorism despite suggestions this week that the idea might be under consideration.
Dame Cressida also denied “throwing her officers under the bus” by apologising for distress caused to Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, 26, during a stop-and-search.
She said lawyers are looking at whether or not they can release their own officers’ body-cam footage to counter those shared on social media showing alleged racial bias. Ms Williams was handcuffed with her athlete partner Ricardo dos Santos. She accused officers of racial profiling. The Met said their car was being driven on the wrong side of the road and sped off when asked to stop, claims the couple reject.