U.K. Official Vows to Prevent Return of Britons Who Backed IS

LONDON (AP) -
Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid. (Reuters/Simon Dawson)

Britain’s Home Secretary has warned he’ll block the return of Britons who traveled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group.

Sajid Javid’s comments come amid a furious debate about Shamima Begum, who ran away to join terrorists when she was 15. Begum told The Times newspaper that she wants to come home.

Javid told the newspaper on Friday that he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of Britons who “supported terrorist organizations abroad.” Others have appealed for mercy, noting Begum’s age when she fled.

Begum was one of three schoolgirls from London’s Bethnal Green neighborhood who went to Syria to join IS in 2015 at a time when the group’s online recruitment program lured teenage girls to its self-proclaimed caliphate.