Four children of ISIS couple could return to London if mother stays in Syria

15 January 2020, 12:03

The four children of Shahan Choudhury and Mehak Aslam may be repatriated to the UK.
The four children of Shahan Choudhury and Mehak Aslam may be repatriated to the UK. Picture: Family handout
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The children of parents who fled the country in 2014 to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) in 2014 could be repatriated from a Syrian refugee camp if their mother agrees she won't return with them.

Both parents have been stripped of their British citizenship, but it is thought the four children still retain their right to a British passport.

According to reports, the Government will "urgently investigate" the return of the children from the camp they are in, which could lead to the return of dozens of children trapped in camps following the defeat of IS.

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

Choudhary’s family revealed that he became radicalised in Belmarsh prison, while on remand, after falling under the influence of followers of hate preacher Anjem Choudary while he was in prison. He spent eighteen months on remand but was acquitted. He began attending the hate preacher’s sermons shortly after leaving prison.

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 News 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.

The four children are currently in a camp in Syria
The four children are currently in a camp in Syria. Picture: Family Handout

"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 but said: “Every request for consular assistance is considered on a case by case basis. Decisions take into account all relevant considerations including nationality, national security and feasibility.”