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Terror suspects like Shamima Begum will be treated as VICTIMS, watchdog warns

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Terror suspects such as Shamima Begum could be treated as victims if they exploit modern slavery laws, the terrorism watchdog warned last night.

Explosive claims in a new book that the so-called Jihadi bride was smuggled into Syria by a spy working for Canada – before Justin Trudeau’s nation then colluded with the UK to cover up his role – emerged this week.

It sparked calls for an investigation into claims that the Met and the government knew the alleged people smuggler was responsible for helping Begum and her two fellow schoolgirls join IS, while also working as a double agent.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, says the definition of modern slavery is so broad that terror suspects like Begum himself could even be considered victims by authorities.

He told the times expressed concern about the view that any child recruited into a terrorist organization was ‘automatically’ a victim.

Terror suspects like Shamima Begum could be treated as victims if they exploit modern slavery laws, the terrorism watchdog warned last night

Begum left school in Bethnal Green, east London, to travel to Syria in 2015, where she married an ISIS fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died young

Begum left school in Bethnal Green, east London, to travel to Syria in 2015, where she married an ISIS fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died young

Mr Hall said deciding whether or not Begum was a victim should not be the main issue when her bid to reclaim British citizenship returns to court in November.

He added that assessing the risk she poses was a more crucial question than the circumstances in which she traveled to Syria.

“The definition and the way the law is applied is too broad,” he said.

Mr Hall expressed his particular concern at the idea that a child recruited into a terrorist organization was automatically a victim “if they did so of their own free will”.

“It’s at odds with the fact that children are generally not seen as victims when they commit other crimes just because someone suggests they should,” he added.

New revelations came to light this week, alleging that the now 23-year-old Begum was smuggled into the Middle East by a double agent, on the payroll of both IS and Canadian intelligence.

But according to The Secret History of the Five Eyes, officials in Ottawa were said to have kept their mouths shut, even as Scotland Yard conducted a massive, international search for Begum and her friends Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana.

Five Eyes is an intelligence-sharing alliance, formalized during the Cold War, between the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The book, by journalist Richard Kerbaj, claims that Canada finally admitted its involvement in the plot because the bosses feared exposure, then also managed to convince Britain to cover up its role.

The allegations have prompted an investigation into what police and intelligence agencies knew about Canada’s activities.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, says the definition of modern slavery is so broad that terror suspects could even be considered victims by authorities

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, says the definition of modern slavery is so broad that terror suspects could even be considered victims by authorities

Begum left school in Bethnal Green, east London, to travel to Syria in 2015, where she married an ISIS fighter and gave birth to three children, all of whom died young.

Her youngest child died in 2019 in the detention camp in northeastern Syria.

She has made previous attempts to restore her UK citizenship, but failed in her attempt by the High Court to return to the UK and challenge her case in person.

The Supreme Court ruled on national security grounds that she cannot return to Britain to appeal the decision. The law states that one can be deprived of citizenship if it is deemed in the public interest.

Speaking to iNews from the camp as she awaits a trial by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces earlier this summer, she insisted she wants to be “as British as possible” but admitted she expects to see the rest. of her life in Syria .

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