The Scotland Yard on Tuesday (6) sought to gain access to unpublished material held by jounrlists who interviewed Shamima Begum, the teenager who ran away from her home in east London to join the Daesh (Islamic State) in 2015.
Scotland Yard wants the BBC, ITN, Sky News and the Times to hand over unpublished notes made during meetings with the jihadi bride.
The Met said officers would contact media organisations “if they believe that they may have information or evidence that could assist a criminal investigation.
“We fully respect the media’s independence. The police will, when appropriate, seek a production order in situations where that material is not provided voluntarily. The decision to grant or deny the production order, quite properly, lies with the court.”
Earlier this year, Begum was tracked down to a camp in northern Syria by The Times reporter Anthony Loyd, who spent 90 minutes alone with her. During her interviews, Begum, who married a Dutch Daesh fighter, said she regretted running away from Bethnal Green to join the terrorist group. She has since expressed a desire to return to the UK.
But she had her British citizenship revoked earlier this year by then home secretary Sajid Javid. This has left her stateless and Begum’s family has challenged the decision.
At the time, Javid justified his action saying Begum’s parents were from Bangladesh and therefore she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship.
However, Bangladesh disagreed.
In May, Bangladesh’s foreign minister said that Begum would be punished severely as the country has a “zero tolerance” for terrorism.
“We have nothing to do with Shamima Begum. She is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She never applied for Bangladesh citizenship. She was born in England and her mother is British,” Andul Momen told UK’s ITV News.
“If anyone is found to be involved with terrorism, we have a simple rule, there will be capital punishment. And nothing else. She will be put in prison and immediately, the rule is, she should be hanged,” he said.