Shamima Begum's father says IS bride was a 'little child who made a mistake' and urges government to return citizenship

The father of IS bride Shamima Begum has pleaded with the British government to return her citizenship, describing her as a "little child" who "made a mistake".

Speaking to ITV News in Bangladesh, Ahmed Ali also urged his daughter to apologise to the British authorities.

He said: "My daughter was a little child, she made a mistake, she didn’t properly understand.

"I would like to make a plea to the British Government not to strip her of her citizenship.

"If she has made any mistakes, bring her back to London, and let them do whatever they think is necessary, but I think taking her back to London, I think is necessary."

He added if his daughter has committed any crimes she should face justice back in the UK.

Ms Begum, who is the youngest of Mr Ali's four daughters, ran away aged 15 with two school friends from Bethnal Green to join the Islamic State group.

She's now 19 and living in a Kurdish camp in Syria having given birth to a baby boy last week.

She was first told by ITV News her citizenship was being revoked by the Home Office and said she was "shocked" by the government's decision.

"I am not that shocked but I am a bit shocked. It’s a bit upsetting and frustrating. I feel like it’s a bit unjust on me and my son," she told Security Editor Rohit Kachroo.

The Home Secretary revoked Ms Begum’s British citizenship in a move only permissible under international law if it does not leave the individual stateless.

ITV News Security Editor Rohit Kachroo showed Shamima Begum a copy of the Home Office letter at the Syria refugee camp where she is being held. Credit: ITV News

Her father Mr Ali condemned Home Secretary Sajid Javid's actions saying "he doesn't think he's done the right thing" of stripping his daughter's British citizenship.

"She belongs to this country, she belongs to England," he said.

Making reference to earlier media reports where he appeared to support the Home Secretary's decision, Mr Ali claimed he had been misunderstood.

"No, I've never said anything like this. I have always wanted the British Government to take back my daughter, the media has misunderstood me," he said.

Shamima's father, who says he is a Bangladeshi citizen, describes his daughter as being "vulnerable" which makes her unable to understand "what is the right thing to do and what isn't".

He also told ITV News he doesn't think the Bangladeshi government would offer her citizenship.

"I don’t believe she’ll be given Bangladeshi citizenship," before adding, "and Shamima has never been to Bangladesh, I think the best thing will be if Britain takes her."

He described the past four years as being tough and said he was "full of pain", but added he doesn't feel responsible for his daughter's actions.

He said he was "always thinking about his daughter, but there wasn't anything he could do".

Ms Begum told ITV News she may pursue citizenship through the Netherlands having married a Dutch jihadi while in Syria.

While many do not want to see Ms Begum return to the UK, others have argued she should face prosecution for her actions, and attempts at deradicalisation.

The Begum family’s lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said she was born in the UK, has never had a Bangladeshi passport and is not a dual citizen, which was also confirmed by the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Shamima Begum was stripped of her British citizenship. Credit: ITV News

More ITV News coverage of the Shamima Begum case: