Schoolgirl 'radicalised' by IS propaganda must be removed from home, judge rules


A schoolgirl "fully-radicalised" by Islamic State propaganda must be removed from her family home, the High Court has ruled.

A Family Division judge said the "intelligent, educated, ambitious" 16-year-old from east London, who has already attempted to travel to Syria to become a "jihadi bride", must be taken away from her "deceitful parents" and from a household full of terrorist propaganda - including pictures of beheadings and material on bomb making and how jihadists should "hide" their identity.

Mr Justice Hayden, sitting in London, said the girl, who can only be referred to as "B", was suffering "psychological and emotional harm" through exposure to extremism of a kind similar to that seen in sex abuse cases.

The judge said B was one of a number of cases within the London borough of Tower Hamlets where "intelligent young girls - highly motivated academically" had been "captured and seduced by the belief that travelling to Syria to become what are known as jihadi brides is a somewhat romantic and honourable path for them and their families".

He said that, after B was removed from a flight to Turkey in December 2014 and made a ward of court, her parents had appeared to co-operate with police and social workers to stop her and her siblings accessing online terrorist propaganda.

But in June this year counter-terrorism officers carried out a protracted search of the family home and discovered "a plethora of electronic devices", including those belonging to the father, containing Islamic State material which showed the parents had carried out "a consummately successful deception" of the authorities.

The judge said of B: "I can see no way in which her psychological, emotional and intellectual integrity can be protected by her remaining in this household.

"The farrago of sophisticated dishonesty of the parents makes this entirely unsustainable."

Drawing an analogy with sex abuse cases, the judge added: "The violation contemplated here is not of the body but it is of the mind.

"It is every bit as insidious - and I do not say that lightly - as it involves harm of a similar magnitude."

The judge ruled that only a "safe and neutral environment" free from the "powerful and pernicious influences" of jihadi propaganda could now protect the teenager's well being.