Baby of Islamic State teenager in UK furor dies: group

Arturo Kim
March 9, 2019

Tasnime Akunjee said in a statement: "We have strong but as yet unconfirmed reports that Shamima Begums son has died. He was a British Citizen".

Begum, who left east London to join ISIS in Syria when she was 15, made global headlines last month as she publicly pleaded with the United Kingdom government to be allowed to return.

"This is a reminder of why it is so, so risky for anyone to be in this war zone", the UK's Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC upon news of the boy's death.

Their lawyer Aamar Anwar told the Sunday Mirror: "If it was your daughter would you not want her back?"

Begum, 19, gave birth to her third child Jarrah in mid-February, while living at a camp run by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a USA -backed alliance of Kurds and other groups that is working to drive the Islamic State out of the last territory they hold.

Shamima Begum pictured in a photo held by her sister.

Last week, Mr Akunjee told The National that the teenager had left the Al Hawl camp in northern Syria with her baby after threats had been made against them. There she married a Dutch ISIS fighter, but following the death of two children, the now 19-year-old requested to return to the United Kingdom with her third baby.

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Days later, she had her baby and, in the weeks since, has been fighting United Kingdom government plans to revoke her citizenship to prevent her from returning home. But he later deleted the tweet without explanation, and shortly after confirmed the baby's death.

She gave birth to her newborn boy last month.

If the reports are confirmed, then it would mean that Miss Begum has lost all three of her children that she has given birth to since arriving in Syria in 2015.

It was in reaction to the minister's decision to revoke 19-year-old Begum's British citizenship on security grounds, indicating that she would have the right to acquire Bangladeshi citizenship by virtue of her parents' heritage. "I wish I had stayed low and found a different way to contact my family", she said.

It told them that the possibility of bringing the baby to the United Kingdom was a matter for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and that they would need permission from Ms Begum.

Begum's husband, ISIS fighter Yago Riedjik, has been detained at a prison near the camp and he knows the baby has died.

The FRO is obliged to consider requests for consular assistance, the letter added.

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