Shamima Begum: Runaway IS bride to find out if British citizenship can be restored

Shamima Begum is set to find out if she has won an appeal against the removal of her British citizenship.

While still a schoolgirl in east London she travelled to Syria in 2015 to join Islamic State at the age of 15, before her citizenship was revoked on national security grounds shortly after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019.

After a series of legal battles, Ms Begum, now 24, lost her latest challenge at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) in February last year - but took her case to the Court of Appeal in October.

Ms Begum, who remains in a refugee camp in northern Syria, was represented by Samantha Knights KC, who argued the government had failed to consider legal duties owed to a potential victim of trafficking.

However, Sir James Eadie KC, for the Home Office, said the "key feature" of Ms Begum's case is national security.

The ruling in Ms Begum's Court of Appeal case is due to be handed down at a short hearing at 10am on Friday.

What are the arguments for and against her return?

Announcing the SIAC decision last February, Mr Justice Jay said "the real merits of Ms Begum's case" involved her arguments that she had been the victim of trafficking.

The tribunal found there was a "credible suspicion" Ms Begum was "recruited, transferred and then harboured for the purpose of sexual exploitation".

Ms Knights and Dan Squires KC argued at the Court of Appeal that the UK has failed to have a "full and effective" investigation into how Ms Begum was trafficked.

However, the SIAC had also found that Mr Javid was not required to formally consider whether Ms Begum was, or might have been, trafficked when deciding to strip her British citizenship.

Sir James said: "The fact that someone is radicalised, and may have been manipulated, is not inconsistent with the assessment that they pose a national security risk.

"Ms Begum contends that national security should not be a 'trump' card.

"But the public should not be exposed to risks to national security because events and circumstances have conspired to give rise to that risk."

From 'straight A student' to IS bride

Ms Begum, described previously as a straight-A student, arrived in the city of Raqqa in Syria and married a Dutchman and Muslim convert named Yago Riedijk 10 days later.

They had three children - a one-year-old girl, a three-month-old boy and a newborn son - who all died from malnourishment or disease.

Ms Begum left Raqqa with her husband in January 2017, but they were eventually split up, as she claimed he was arrested for spying and tortured.

She was eventually found nine months pregnant in a refugee camp in February 2019 by a Times journalist.

Ms Begum told the reporter it "didn't faze me at all" when she saw her first "severed head" and would "do anything required just to be able to come home".

But she added she did not regret travelling to IS-controlled Syria, saying she had a "good time".

Read more:
IS bride insists she 'didn't hate Britain'
The problem with Shamima Begum's case

By 2021, she had drastically changed her appearance - wearing a Nike baseball cap, a grey vest, a Casio watch and having her fingernails painted pink when she appeared on TV screens.

Ms Begum said there was "no evidence" she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts and was prepared to prove her innocence in court.

"The reason I came to Syria was not for violent reasons," she told Good Morning Britain in 2021.

"At the time I did not know it was a death cult, I thought it was an Islamic community I was joining," she added.