The Corner

World

An ISIS Homecoming

The U.K. government continues its fight to block the return of Shamima Begum, one of three British-born schoolgirls who traveled to Syria in 2015 to join the Islamic State. The Jihadi bride seeks to return to British soil in order to contest the revocation of her citizenship, by order of the Home Secretary.

There are many reasons why the U.K. government is right to want to keep her at arm’s length. Here are three:

Begum is a national-security risk that can never be mitigated. 

Begum willingly departed the U.K. as a teenager, then underwent further radicalization on arrival in Syria, where she was complicit in extreme terror and violence. She told a Times of London journalist that seeing her first severed human head in a bin (the head belonged to “an enemy of Islam”) “didn’t faze [her] at all.” She found life in Raqqa quite “normal,” she said — except for the odd “bombing and stuff.” In plotting to destroy the West, then complaining about “unfair” treatment by the British government, she showed a level of contempt for her native country that would be difficult to surpass. There is no reason to presume that such a remorseless and unfeeling idealogue could be made to see the error of her ways.

It may be difficult to prosecute and sentence her appropriately.

Begum is complicit in some of the worst crimes imaginable. Again, she left one of the freest countries on earth in order to join the most appalling death cult where rape, murder, and torture are commonplace. If “justice” is to mean anything at all, it must surely mean locking up people such as Begum and throwing away the key. The trouble is that such sentencing is rare in modern Britain, where “rehabilitation” is preferred. This is exactly what was attempted with the convicted terrorist who was invited into central London last year after being let off early, where he proceeded to go on a rampage and stab innocent citizens to death. It is fear of the dominant progressive counterterrorism strategy that accounts for the extraditions of two British-born ISIS “Beatles,” complicit in the murders of 27 Western hostages, to the United States where the judicial system is better equipped to deal with them.

Begum’s return could set precedent for similarly situated British-born members of ISIS.

There are approximately 30 British-born women and 60 British-born children currently being held by the Western-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. How many will then be brought back? How many will then be let loose on British streets?

If the British government cannot provide its citizens with the necessary assurance that Islamic terrorists and their allies will be kept in maximum-security prisons where they belong, it is right to prevent their return.