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Isis mother stranded in Syria with her children pleads for return to UK

The Independent logo The Independent 07/10/2021 Tom Batchelor
NicoleJack.PNG © BBC NicoleJack.PNG

A British woman who travelled to Syria to join Isis along with her husband and children has pleaded with UK officials to allow her to return.

Nicole Jack made the journey with her first husband, Hussein Ali, to join the terror group in 2015.

She is now in a refugee camp with her three children but has said the government should “open up a dialogue” and “at least try to understand why or what was the situation”, rather than “having just a closed mind”.

Asked why she had taken her children - now aged seven, nine and 12 - to live in Isis territory, she told the Radio 4 Today programme: “I don't think, even if I explained it, everyone would understand. But from my point of view, where I stand, firstly, it was about my family being together.

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“And honestly, secondly, what may have happened, we've never been witness to it, my children and I, honestly, you know, I haven't seen a beheading in my life.”

She added: “I don't understand it. I'll be honest, I really never understood where people would say someone who went to Syria was a security risk, because they actually left the country.

”They didn't cause harm to a country being inside of it without doing something.“

‘I don’t think, even if I explained it, everyone would understand’ (BBC) © Provided by The Independent ‘I don’t think, even if I explained it, everyone would understand’ (BBC)

Her appeal to be allowed to return to the UK comes after former Isis bride Shamima Begum asked the British public for forgiveness last month, saying in an interview from a Syrian refugee camp that there was ”no evidence“ she was a key player in preparing terrorist acts.

Following her comments, Sajid Javid, who was home secretary when the decision was made to strip Begum of her British citizenship, poured cold water on the prospect of overturning the ruling.

Ms Jack is currently in Syria’s Roj camp, where Begum is also being held.

Camp Roj, where relatives of people suspected of belonging to Isis are held (AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by The Independent Camp Roj, where relatives of people suspected of belonging to Isis are held (AFP via Getty Images)

Also speaking to the Today programme on Thursday, Ms Jack’s mother, Charleen Jack-Henry, a London-based nurse, said her daughter believed she should be permitted to return home to “face the consequences”.

The grandmother said: “Let her (Nicole) come and face the consequences. But it is not fair and it is not right for these children to be languishing in this place. Enough is enough.

“They've already served a six-year sentence without even having the benefit of being taken to court and being tried by your peers.”

A government spokesman said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of the UK. Those who remain in Syria include dangerous individuals who chose to stay to fight or otherwise support a group that committed atrocious crimes including butchering and beheading innocent civilians.

“It is important that we do not make judgments about the national security risk someone poses based on their gender or age.”

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