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17 June 2015, 14:24
North East Counter Terrorism Unit say they have information that one of the missing Bradford sisters feared to be travelling to join Islamic State has been in contact with relatives in West Yorkshire.
There is, as yet, uncorroborated news the women and their 9 children may have already crossed the border into Syria.
ACC Russ Foster said:
“We are extremely concerned for the safety of this family, especially the nine children aged between 3-15 years.
"The family have reached out to Khadija, Sugra & Zohra, in the hope that they hear their messages and we encourage them to make contact with us so we can return them and the children safely to their families who are extremely worried about them.
“We would urge anyone with information about the family’s whereabouts to come forward and speak to police so the family can safely return to the UK. Anyone with information should call West Yorkshire Police on 101.
"Any piece of information, no matter how small, could help the UK or overseas authorities to locate the family so that they can be safely returned home to their loved ones.
“Police have been working with the extended Dawood family and the Turkish authorities since they were reported missing in an attempt to locate the family and return them to their loved ones. This has been an intensive investigation and we are committed to ensuring the correct information is shared. Factually incorrect reporting could potentially jeopardise crucial lines of enquiry.
“We are concerned about anyone who has or is intending to travel to the part of Syria that is controlled by the terrorist group calling themselves Islamic State. It is an extremely dangerous place and not a place where young children should be taken.
“The choice of returning home from Syria is often taken away from those under the control of Islamic State, leaving families in the UK devastated and with very few options to secure their loved ones safe return."
Anyone concerned that a family member may be contemplating travelling to Syria should contact police and partners via the free phone Anti-Terrorist Hotline number on 0800 789 321 so that we can intervene and help. This is not about criminalising people it is about preventing tragedies by offering support to the young and vulnerable.