Saturday 24 March 2018

Police fear couple have taken four children to Syria

The Malik family caught on CCTV in Dover
The Malik family caught on CCTV in Dover

Chris Green

A British Muslim father who is feared to be travelling to Syria with his young family used to be a member of the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun, it was claimed last night.

Asif Malik (31), his partner Sara Kiran (29) and their four children have not been seen for almost two weeks. The family, from Slough in Berkshire, left without mentioning any holiday or travel plans to their friends or relatives, which police described as entirely out of character.

The group was seen boarding a Dover-to-Calais ferry and are then believed to have travelled through Europe by train. Thames Valley Police said they may be heading to Syria, where Isil is fighting to establish a Muslim caliphate.

Anjem Choudary, the radical Muslim cleric, said that Mr Malik had formerly been an al-Muhajiroun member and had remained "very influential in the community" since the group was banned five years ago.

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said that, while the family may simply be missing, it was "legitimate for us to hope for the best, but fear for the worst".

The couple are travelling with their daughter Zoha (7) and three sons Essa (4), Zakariya (2) and Yhaya (1).

Mr Malik had previously told relatives that he would "like to live in a Muslim country", said Mr Campbell.

"Given the online rhetoric from the Islamic State encouraging people to travel to Syria, the direction of travel and concerns voiced by Asif's family, we are concerned the family may be seeking to travel to Syria," he added. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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