Britain removes citizenship from two IS brides of Pakistani heritage


The baby of Shamima Begum, a British teenager who joined the Islamic State and has sought to return home even as she has defended the group's actions, has died in a detention camp in Syria, according to a spokesman for the group holding the woman.

Ms Begum was 15 when she and two friends left London to marry IS fighters in Syria in 2015, at a time when the group's online recruitment program lured many impressionable young people to its self-proclaimed caliphate. Begum said she had given birth to two other children in Syria, both of whom also died.

There is growing pressure on United Kingdom home secretary Sajid Javid since it was confirmed that 19-year-old Begum had lost her child, Jarrah, to pneumonia in the refugee camp on Thursday.

Begum's family lawyer Tasnime Akunjee tweeted late Friday: "His death has been confirmed".

The government has come under fire for its handling of runaway jihadis, with Labour's Diane Abbott taking aim at Home Secretary Sajid Javid who ignored Begum's pleas to return home and instead stripped her of citizenship. "The government will continue to do whatever we can to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and traveling to risky conflict zones".

"Leaks said that ISIS bride Shamima's son died are fake".

"No dignified self-governing state should abandon responsibility for its own citizens in this way, trying to dump them on to poorer countries with failed security arrangements", he told The Observer.

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The 19-year-old gave birth to the boy in a refugee camp in Syria, having previously lost two children.

Begum's family has roots in Bangladesh, but officials there have made it clear that Begum doesn't qualify for Bangladeshi citizenship, meaning Britain's decision to strip her of British citizenship could essentially render her stateless.

Begum told the Times newspaper in February that she didn't regret joining so-called Islamic State but had admitted it was corrupt and oppressive.

Mr Hunt said the British boy's death was "an incredibly distressing and sad situation" but that it was too unsafe to dispatch officials to the war zone, adding that they are at a greater risk than the journalists who have interviewed her.

After Begum was stripped of her citizenship, her family tried to challenge the decision and asked for help in bringing her baby back to the UK. The UK Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases, adding that "decisions to withdraw citizenship from individuals were evidence-based and not taken lightly".

The UK government, however, moved to revoke Begum's citizenship, effectively blocking her return by claiming she was a dual-national with access to Bangladeshi citizenship.

The International Rescue Committee on Friday said that 12,000 women and children had arrived at the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp since Wednesday.