London, June 21: Husbands of two of the three British sisters who were reported to have entered Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group have blamed the anti-terror police for the radicalisation of their wives, according to a media report. Mohammed Shoaib and Akhtar Iqbal, in a letter to the authorities, said the North East Counter-Terrorism Unit (Nectu) encouraged their wives’ radicalisation by urging them to contact their brother who was already in Syria, The Mail on Sunday reported.
“We are alarmed by the fact that the police have been actively promoting and encouraging contact with the brother-in-law of our clients who, it is believed, is fighting in Syria,” lawyers for Shoaib and Iqbal said in a letter to the home and foreign secretaries, and chairman of the Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz.
“It would appear that there has been a reckless disregard as to the consequences of any such contact on the families. Plainly the North East Counter-Terrorism Unit (Nectu) has been complicit in the grooming and radicalising of the women,” they were quoted as saying. Downing Street denounced the allegation while branding it “ludicrous”. Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister David Cameron told British Muslims that some in their community “quietly condone” extremism by failing to speak out against the “poisonous ideology” of the IS.
Khadija, Sugra and Zohra Dawood — all in their 30s — and their nine children were reported to have travelled to Syria to join their younger brother Ahmed, who left Britain in 2013 to join the radical group.
The family had gone to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, but was reported missing after it failed to return to Britain as planned.
The information on the whereabouts of the family came up after one of the sisters sent a message to her family that she was inside Syria.
The information about their entry into Syria was revealed during a casual conversation between BBC’s Middle East correspondent Paul Wood and an IS smuggler operating on the Turkey-Syria border. (IANS)