British children of IS recruits could be repatriated if mother stays in Syria

Four British children whose parents joined the so-called Islamic State (IS) in 2014 may be repatriated from a Syrian refugee camp if their mother agrees she cannot return with them.

ITV News reported the Government has said it will “urgently investigate” bringing the children back to the UK, which could lead to the return of dozens of children trapped in camps following the defeat of IS.

East London’s Mehak Aslam joined the terrorist group with her husband Shahan Choudhury, who became an IS gravedigger and was later imprisoned.

Cross-party delegation in Syria
Cross-party delegation in Syria

Both have been stripped of their British citizenship.

Mohamed Aslam urged his daughter to sign a proposal from the Government which promised to begin investigating the process of the children’s return.

He told ITV he recognised the need for children to be raised by their parents but it was just not possible for his grandchildren.

“That’s a hard reality but at least they’ll be safe here – at least they’ll be safe and secure,” Mr Aslam said.

He said a fifth grandchild was killed in an explosion in Syria.

“She passed away – I can never forgive them (her parents) for that.

“They wanted to take this step for themselves – that’s fine, that’s their problem. Why involve the kids in this?”

An estimated 60 children whose parents joined IS are in Syrian refugee camps, with Whitehall long criticised over perceived inaction on their repatriation.

The Aslam and Choudhury families approached the Foreign Office for help after watching an interview with Shahan Choudhury last June.

A Foreign Office spokesman declined to comment on the Aslam children’s case.