UK official vows to prevent return of Britons who backed IS

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Home Secretary has warned he’ll block the return of Britons who travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (IS) group.

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

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

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