Wednesday, December 09, 2015

mother who told her husband she was taking their children to a birthday party before trying to take them to Syria to live under Sharia law is guilty of abduction

  • Woman, 34, took her two young children to Heathrow and flew to Istanbul
  • She was arrested while trying to get to Syria after husband alerted police
  • Court hears she was increasingly radical and wanted to live under Sharia
  • Mother faces seven years in jail after pleading guilty to child abduction  
  • See more of the latest news updates on the Islamic State war in Syria  
A British mother who tried to take her children to the ISIS capital so they could live under Sharia law could face jail after admitting child abduction today.

The 34-year-old finance worker from Bradford told her husband she was taking the children to a birthday party, but instead she fled to Heathrow and began a journey to Raqqa in Syria.

The woman was arrested when she landed in Istanbul with £4,000 in cash after her husband alerted the police.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the British-born defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a 'pillar of the community' who had never previously been in trouble with the law.

Extremist: A British mother tried to take her children to Raqqa, pictured, to live under the ISIS regime
Extremist: A British mother tried to take her children to Raqqa, pictured, to live under the ISIS regime

Today she pleaded guilty to two counts of child abduction relating to her two children, who are both under 16.

Andrew Semple, prosecuting, told the court that the woman said to her husband she wanted the children to grow up under Sharia law, and he told her there were many such countries.

'She countered there was only one that properly followed Islamic law and that was Islamic State,' Mr Semple said.

The defendant was born in the UK but spent her formative years in Pakistan before returning to live in Bradford, the court heard.

But earlier this year her family noted she was becoming 'more overtly religious' telling them she wanted her children to grow up under Sharia and she wanted to give up her job in finance because charging interest on money was 'un-Islamic'

In September she put a number of boxes in storage and her husband became suspicious. He checked her mobile phone on October 9, and found that she had made arrangements to travel to Iraq.

The next day she left home early with the children telling him she was taking them to a birthday party and the mosque.

But when he checked with her father he discovered there was no party planned, and he contacted police after trying in vain to find her at the airport.

'The Turkish authorities were swiftly alerted and they were able to detain the defendant, who was with her children,' Mr Semple said.

She later admitted to police she had planned to travel to Raqqa and ultimately to Mosul in Iraq, though she did not tell family as they would not approve.

She said the children would get used to living under ISIS but could return to the UK when they were 16 if they wanted to.

The woman's lawyer, Marie Harbin, said she was a 'loving, caring mother' and a 'pillar of the community'.

Miss Harbin said the defendant was 'not a supporter of Islamic State, the organisation itself' but wanted to live in a state which follows Sharia law.

Raqqa has been regarded as the de facto capital of ISIS since the group took the city over in January last year, while Mosul is the biggest city controlled by the jihadist 'state'.

The defendant faces up to seven years in jail when she is sentenced later .

No comments: