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Police 'complicit in grooming' of sisters feared to be in Syria

By Dave Higgens

Published 22/06/2015

Police were "complicit in the grooming and radicalising" of three sisters who are feared to have travelled to Syria with their nine children, according to lawyers representing two of the youngsters' fathers.

British sisters Khadija Dawood (30), Sugra Dawood (34) and Zohra Dawood (33), and their children are feared to have travelled to link up with terror group Islamic State in the country.

Last week, Akhtar Iqbal and Mohammed Shoaib broke down as they pleaded desperately for their wives to return.

Now solicitors representing the two men have written to the chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz, saying their clients were "extremely disappointed with the manner in which this matter is being investigated by West Yorkshire Police and have expressed grave concerns in the conduct of the police leading to these events".

Referring to a brother of the sisters, who is believed to have joined Islamic State, the letter from Khan Solicitors, in Bradford, said: "We are alarmed by the fact that the police have been actively promoting and encouraging contact with the brother-in-law of our client whom, it is believed, is fighting in Syria."

The letter posted by Labour MP Mr Vaz said: "Plainly, by the NECTU (North East Counter Terrorism Unit) allowing this contact they have been complicit in the grooming and radicalising of the women. If this contact between them had been prevented our clients would not now be facing such circumstances."

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