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Hundreds in Norfolk sign petition to ban ISIS members returning to UK

PUBLISHED: 11:01 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:29 18 February 2019

Shamima Begum should be invited to live in Norwich, says Steven Downes      Picture Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

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Shamima Begum should be invited to live in Norwich, says Steven Downes Picture Metropolitan Police/PA Wire .

PA Wire/PA Images

Hundreds of people from Norfolk have signed an online petition to ban all ISIS members from returning to the UK.

The petition, which has attracted more than 285,000 signatures since it was created, has been signed by hundreds of people across Norfolk with the highest number of signatures coming from the Great Yarmouth area.

It was created by Stephen Kent and states: “By banning all returning ISIS members and by removing their citizenship and passports it would help keep the UK safe from terrorists and their actions.

“It would also save hundreds of thousands of pounds and time of the police and security services. It would also send a message to others that membership of terrorist organisation will not be tolerated.”

The petition will run until May but it already has the 100,000 signatures needed to be debated in parliament. It was set up in November but since The Times interview with “jihadi bride” Shamima Begum in which she said she wanted to come back to the UK the number of signatures has soared.

The now 19-year-old from east London joined the Islamic State group in Syria when she was 15. She is currently nine months pregnant and has had two infant children who are dead. Her Islamic State fighter husband is in captivity.

“The caliphate is over,” she told The Times. “There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online.

“But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”

A government response to the petition stated that UK nationals “have the right to return to the country, but anyone who does return from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq will be investigated by the police”. It said the Home Secretary can strip a person of their citizenship, but only “if the person would not be left stateless as a result”.

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