Shamima Begum can expect to be spoken to if she returns to UK – police chief

Counter-terrorism police officers will “deal with whatever they are confronted with” if Isis schoolgirl Shamima Begum returns to the UK.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the 19-year-old could expect to be “spoken to” if she comes back to Britain.

She fled her east London home in 2015 to travel to Syria to support Isis, but now wishes to return home for the sake of her third child, who was born at the weekend. Her two older children have died.

On Tuesday Ms Dick said: “If she does, under whatever circumstances, arrive at our borders somebody in her type of circumstances could expect, of course, to be spoken to and if there is the appropriate necessity, to be potentially arrested and certainly investigated.

“If that results in sufficient evidence for a prosecution then it will result in sufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick (PA)

“The officers will deal with whatever they are confronted with.”

There are currently plans to change the law to make travelling to certain terror hotspots a criminal offence, but this would not apply retrospectively to Ms Begum.

Around 425 suspected jihadi fighters are thought to have returned to the UK from Syria so far.

Ms Dick said: “This case and other cases that are talked about in the same sentences just really underline how awful the circumstances are and have been in Syria and just how dangerous it has been, and would continue to be, for anybody from this country to think of travelling there. Dangerous physically and dangerous legally.

“If there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution it is our job to look at the threat they pose if they are returning from Syria and we do that with every single person who comes back from Syria and then manage the risk with colleagues in the (security and intelligence) agencies.”

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