Daughter of beheaded aid worker says Shamima Begum a ‘ticking time bomb’

Daughter of beheaded aid worker says Shamima Begum a ‘ticking time bomb’
Shamima Begum, now 20, was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019 on national security grounds after traveling to Syria when she was 15. (Screenshot: BBC)
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Updated 21 July 2020

Daughter of beheaded aid worker says Shamima Begum a ‘ticking time bomb’

Daughter of beheaded aid worker says Shamima Begum a ‘ticking time bomb’
  • David Haines was killed in Syria in 2014, and his execution was used widely in Daesh propaganda
  • Haines’ daughter fears for public safety should Daesh bride return to UK

LONDON: The daughter of a British aid worker murdered by Daesh in Syria has warned that Shamima Begum is a “ticking time bomb” and that allowing her to return to the UK risks public safety.

Bethany Haines, 23, is the daughter of David Haines, who was working at a refugee camp near the Turkish border in Syria when he was abducted in 2013.

He was held by a group of British Daesh members dubbed “The Beatles” for their English accents, before being beheaded on camera in 2014. Footage of Haines’ execution featured prominently in Daesh propaganda.

His daughter has warned of the security risks of allowing former Daesh bride Shamima Begum, who travelled to Syria when she was 15, to return to the country.

She said: “From what I gather, Begum still has a strong hatred of the UK. She’s a ticking time bomb.

“This decision is against public safety and they don’t consider the impact of their decisions.”

Begum, now 20, was stripped of her British citizenship in 2019 on national security grounds. A British court recently ruled that she should be allowed to return to the UK to appeal the decision to remove her citizenship.

The British government has vowed to fight to keep Begum from returning to the country. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has instructed civil servants to come up with proposals to restrict government financial assistance for legal counsel to terrorists who bring challenges in the civil courts, such as under immigration or citizenship law.

A Ministry of Justice source said: “Why should someone who is considered a national security risk have their legal bills picked up by the taxpayer?”