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Shamima Begum could return to UK after court victory

A landmark court ruling may clear the way for Shamima Begum to return to the UK.

The 22-year-old’s chances of returning home have improved by the court victory of a 16-year-old terror suspect who claimed she was the victim of modern slavery, according to a report published in the Evening Standard newspaper of the UK.

The government had failed to consider whether Begum was trafficked to Syria, where she joined ISIS in 2015.

Her lawyer argued her wish to return is “strengthened” by the other girl’s court victory.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was accused of possessing a bomb-making video and instructions on how to make a gun successfully.

But a court dropped her case after the Home Office accepted she had been sexually exploited and groomed online by an extremist.

Her case was the first time a terrorism prosecution has been thrown out due to sexual exploitation.

Jonathan Hall QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said it could set a precedent for those with similar cases, such as teenage terror suspects who say they were groomed online.

He said: “Being both a victim of modern slavery and presenting a risk to the general public are not incompatible.

“If fewer criminal cases are going to be possible, this begs the question whether there are sufficient non-criminal justice measures in place, in particular to deal with the terrorist risk presented by children.”

Begum’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said: “Shamima has been arguing this from the beginning.

“This just strengthens her case.”

Begum, who lived in Bethnal Green, was 15 when she left the UK with two friends to join ISIS.

She now claims to have denounced the terror group and lives in the Al-Roj refugee camp in Syria after being stripped of her British citizenship.

Begum last year revealed she was groomed by friends and older men she met on the internet, before leaving for Syria.

She also claimed she is in danger from IS militant fighters who she said tried to firebomb her tent in a camp.

Begum said she is a prime target for the group.

The now 22-year-old has repeatedly expressed her wish to return to the UK, saying she was just a “dumb kid” when she joined ISIS and felt peer pressured into the decision as she “didn’t want to be the friend that was left behind”.

In February last year the Supreme Court ruled that she was not to be allowed back over public safety concerns.

But the latest ruling could mean she could be in with a chance of returning to Britain.