Shamima Begum citizenship decision 'fundamentally misguided' say CT experts
Giving evidence at the appeal of Shamima Begum, former MI6 counter terrorism lead Richard Barrett OBE has said that the decision to revoke her citizenship in 2019 'undermines UK counter-terrorism'.
The 23-year-old’s legal appeal at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) was told that the home secretary at the time, Sajid Javid, had failed to consider the “serious practical consequences” of removing Begum’s UK citizenship in 2019.
In a document provided to the SIAC, Richard Barrett OBE and Paul Jordan said there was likely to be a higher national security risk caused by refusing to bring people back from Syrian camps.
“From a national security perspective, refusing to repatriate individuals who now find themselves in camps in Syria is likely to be significantly more dangerous in the medium to long term than repatriating them and subjecting them to prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration”.
“In our view the approach taken by the UK government to Ms Begum has been fundamentally misguided from a national security perspective.”
Richard Barrett OBE is the former director of global counter terrorism at SiS (Mi6) and executive director of the Global Strategy Network (TGSN). Paul Jordan leads on counter terrorism for TGSN and is head of responding to violent extremism (RVE) at the European Institute of Peace (EIP).
Barrett and Jordan concluded: “In our view the approach taken by the UK government to Ms Begum has been fundamentally misguided from a national security perspective.”
A written submission from Home Office spokesperson Sir James Eadie KC said there was "no credible suspicion that she was a victim of trafficking or was at real and immediate risk of being trafficked prior to her travel from the UK”