Police ‘Complicit in Radicalisation’

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Husbands of Two of Three Missing Bradford Sisters To Meet Keith Vaz To Discuss

Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz is set to meet the husbands of two of the three Bradford women who are believed to have travelled to Syria with their nine children.

Sisters Khadija, Sugra and Zohra Dawood and their children, aged between three and 15, were reported missing on June 9 and are believed to have reached Syria.

Mr Vaz has issued a statement in which he confirmed he would be meeting with Akhtar Iqbal, husband of Sugra Dawood, and Mohammed Shoaib, husband of Khadia Dawood, after having received a letter of complaint regarding the police from the lawyers of the two men.

The lawyers have accused the police of being “complicit in radicalising” the three sisters and claim that the police encouraged the sisters to contact their brother, who is thought to be fighting with extremists in Syria.

West Yorkshire Police have said they reject the suggestion that officers were complicit in the radicalisation of the missing trio.

According to Mr Vaz, the claims made by the lawyers’ are “concerning”.

He told the BBC: “There is always a problem, which we identified in the last parliament, where the families left behind feel they need to be informed and kept updated on what’s going on. The difficulty for the authorities of course is they are ongoing investigations.

“But it is important to listen to what they have to say, which I will do, and then decide what further action needs to be taken.”

Solicitors representing the two husbands have also said in the letter to the Labour MP for Leicester East that the police had shown a “reckless disregard” for the consequences.

The lawyers have also said they will be writing letters of complaint regarding the police to the home secretary and the foreign secretary.

The Home Office, who has said it has received the letter and would respond in “due course”, said in a statement: “Our priority is to dissuade people from travelling to areas of conflict and the Prevent strategy is working to identify and support individuals at risk of radicalisation.”

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