Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Family of Shamima Begum believe she has given birth

LONDON ENGLAND- FEBRUARY 22 The famiiles of Amira Abase and Shamima Begum the three missing schoolgirls believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State pose after being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard after pleading for them to The families of Amira Abase and Shamima Begum who ran to join Isis in 2015 are
Jeannette Daniel | 18 February, 2019, 18:28

Her family have said they are devastated to have never met them, and begged for Begum to be allowed to return for the sake of her baby.

However, Justice Minister David Gauke said on Saturday that there could be legal problems if Begum's wish to return was rejected.

The 19-year-old spoke to British reporters in Syria earlier in the week, where she made her plea for Britain to help her return home to have her child.

Muslim families expressed shock and disbelief - but also helplessness.

News about Begum and her desire to go back to Britain have ignited a debate in the United Kingdom about how to deal with citizens who joined IS and want to leave Syria now that the extremist group is on the verge of collapse.

'We are also mindful that Shamima is now in a camp surrounded by IS sympathisers and any comments by her could lead directly to danger to her and her child, ' they added.

"This is the hardest of news to bear".

"The welfare of Shamima's unborn child is of paramount concern to our family, and we will do everything within our power to protect that baby who is entirely blameless in these events".

Begum told The Times about seeing "beheaded heads" in bins but said that it "did not faze her".

Shamima Begum, who was 15 at the time, left London's Gatwick Airport with two of her classmates and traveled to Syria.

She said she knew there would be restriction on her if she returned, but added that he child is her "biggest priority".

It emerged on Sunday that Begum has named the child Jarah after one of the two children she has lost since November 2018.

A statement released on behalf of the family via her lawyer said that both she and the baby were in "good health" and that they were "hoping to establish communications with her soon so we can verify" the news.

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Meanwhile, the head of MI6 warned that Britons returning from Islamic State were likely to have acquired "potentially very dangerous" skills and connections.

The teenager, who said she had had no contact with British officials, added the government should not block her homecoming because she was "just a housewife" while there.

However Begum, who married an ISIS fighter, she was only a housewife during her time in Syria: "I never did anything risky, I never made propaganda, I never encouraged people to come to Syria", she said.

Asked to respond to comments that she could be potentially very risky if she returned, she said: "They don't have any evidence against me doing anything unsafe, when I went to Syria I was just a housewife, the entire four years I stayed at home, took care of my husband, took care of my kids, I never did anything..."

"Any investigation is carried out with an open mind and based on the evidence available", he said.

"Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing".

While refusing to comment on individual cases, Mr Wallace told the BBC: "I'm not putting at risk British people's lives to go and look for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state".

"There are consular services elsewhere in the region and the strong message this government has given for many years is actions have consequences".

If Ms Begum is able to reach a British consulate in a recognised country, it is thought security chiefs could "manage" her return.

Akunjee told AFP the family had learned about the birth from a translator in an eastern Syria refugee camp where Begum is now staying.

"I was also frightened that the child I am about to give birth to would die like my other children if I stayed on".

Ms Sultana was reported to have been killed in an air strike in 2016.

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