A British woman who joined the Islamic State group with her young children has said UK politicians should “open your minds” to allowing them to return.
Nicole Jack and her three daughters are currently being held in a detention camp in Syria alongside thousands of wives and children of IS fighters.
She said they are “out of sight, out of mind” and the UK government must not sweep them “under the carpet”.
The Home Office said its priority is to ensure the UK’s safety and security.
Ms Jack and her daughters – aged 12, 9 and 7 – are currently in Syria’s Roj camp, where Shamima Begum is also being held.
Speaking publicly for the first time, the 34-year-old told the BBC that despite living under IS rule for three years, she was not a security risk to the UK.
The UK government has been unwilling to let those who joined IS – a group that committed genocide and murder around the world – back to the UK, viewing them as potential national security threats.
Ms Jack left London with her husband and her then four young children to join IS in October 2015. She had told relatives her family was leaving for Somalia to start a new life.
IS had already become notorious for its brutality, including public beheadings, before she joined the group. And unlike some recruits from the UK, who joined as teenagers, she was an adult when she left.
She told the BBC few people will understand her decision to take her children to a dangerous warzone and live under IS rule.
When pressed for an answer, she said her husband, Hussein Ali, threatened to split the family up if she refused to travel with him. “It was about my family being together”, she claimed.