2015年4月20日星期一

British family arrested in Turkey as they travel to Syria to join ISIS

  • Asif Malik has gone missing from his home in Slough with wife Sara Kiran and their four children
  • He was pictured holding 'ISIS' sign at a protest in London last year
  • Today jihadist Siddhartha Dhar claimed the family had arrived in Syria
  • Relatives of Ms Kiran today made emotional appeal for her to come home

A British man who has disappeared from Britain along with his whole family was pictured waving a flag in support of ISIS at a demonstration in London last year, it emerged today.

Police and security agencies have launched an international manhunt after Asif Malik, his partner Sara Kiran and their four children were reported missing from their home in Slough, Berkshire.

He and his family went missing nearly two weeks ago - but it took eight days for relatives to report their disappearance to the police, and a British jihadist claimed today that the family had now arrived in Syria.

Protest: Missing British man Asif Malik, 31, was pictured at a demonstration outside the Lebanese embassy in London in May last year holding a pro-ISIS poster

Protest: Missing British man Asif Malik, 31, was pictured at a demonstration outside the Lebanese embassy in London in May last year holding a pro-ISIS poster

Welcome: Jihadist Siddhartha Dhar posted this picture of himself and his young son wielding a realistic-looking pistol, claiming that Malik and his family have arrived in Syria

Welcome: Jihadist Siddhartha Dhar posted this picture of himself and his young son wielding a realistic-looking pistol, claiming that Malik and his family have arrived in Syria

Demo: Malik, left, and Dhar, right, are pictured at a protest outside outside Regent's Park Mosque last year

Demo: Malik, left, and Dhar, right, are pictured at a protest outside outside Regent's Park Mosque last year

Today a photograph emerged of Malik - a member of the banned UK extremist group al-Mujahiroun - holding a pro-ISIS sign at a protest against the arrest of hate preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad in May last year.

The picture, taken by extremism researcher Jacob Michelson, shows Malik, 31, standing outside the Lebanese embassy in London brandishing a poster which reads 'Islamic State Is Solution', with the first letter of each word highlighted to spell out 'ISIS'.

Bakri, who led a number of hate groups in Britain before being kicked out of the UK, was arrested in Lebanon in May, and is believed still to be in detention there.

British jihadist Siddhartha Dhar, who fled to Syria last year with his own young family to join the Islamic State, released a statement on Twitter today in which he claims the Malik family have arrived safely in Syria.

Dhar, who calls himself Abu Rumaysah, posted a picture of himself and one of his young sons playing with what looks like a real pistol along with the message.

Escape: Malik and his family were caught on CCTV at Dover catching a ferry to France on April 8

Escape: Malik and his family were caught on CCTV at Dover catching a ferry to France on April 8

Disappeared: The family, pictured at Dover, were not reported missing by their relatives until eight days later

Disappeared: The family, pictured at Dover, were not reported missing by their relatives until eight days later

He wrote on Twitter: 'Alhamdulillah [all praise be to Allah], I am delighted to hear of the arrival of brother Asif and his family to #IS.'

Dhar later added: 'O Muslims, migrate to the Islamic State; the only true safehaven for you and your families.'

He is believed to have known Malik when the pair were both members of al-Mujahiroun, run by firebrand cleric Anjem Choudary.

If it is confirmed that Malik and his family are in Syria, he will be the fourth of Choudary's followers to have travelled to the war-torn country. 

Today Ms Kiran's family made an emotional appeal directly to her, urging her to get in touch so that they know the family is safe.

'We would like to urge you, Sara and Asif, to make contact with us and let us know that you and the children are safe,' relatives said in a statement.

'Sara, we want to let you know that we love you - we miss you, Asif and the grandchildren. You are not in trouble, we are not angry or upset, and we just want you to return home safely.' 

Asif Malik

Sara Kiran

Parents: Asif Malik, left, and his partner Sara Kiran, right, went missing from their home in Slough this month

Children: Seven-year-old Zoha, and Essa,  four, are among the family's four children who are missing

Children: Seven-year-old Zoha, and Essa,  four, are among the family's four children who are missing

Zakariva Malik

Yahya Malik

Youngsters: Zakariya, two, and one-year-old Yhaya were last seen with their family in Berkshire

Thames Valley Police said yesterday that the Malik family were last seen on Tuesday April 7 but were only reported missing to police last Thursday, April 16.

Malik, 31, and Ms Kiran, 29, who neighbours said usually wore the full Islamic veil, left home without mentioning any holiday or travel plans to family members, which a force spokesman said was 'entirely out of character for this family'.

Police said the family boarded a ferry from Dover to Calais at 12.30am on Wednesday, April 8.

Neighbours said the alarm was raised after at least one of their four children - daughter Zoha, seven, and their three sons Essa, four, Zakariva, two, and Yahya, one - failed to attend school.

Their grandmother was also seen looking for them and knocking on other doors in the modern block of flats where they lived, asking if anyone had seen the family.

Neither Malik nor his partner have attempted to contact any family members or friends since, despite taking their mobile phones with them on the trip, police said.

Police said this lack of contact led detectives to believe their reason for leaving Britain may not be legitimate.

Shock: Siddhartha Dhar posted this picture of himself with a gun and his newborn baby on Twitter shortly after arriving in Syria last year

Shock: Siddhartha Dhar posted this picture of himself with a gun and his newborn baby on Twitter shortly after arriving in Syria last year

Cleric: Both Malik and Dhar are believed to be followers of notorious preacher Anjem Choudary

Cleric: Both Malik and Dhar are believed to be followers of notorious preacher Anjem Choudary

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said yesterday: '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.'

Anjem Choudary confirmed yesterday that Malik had been a member of al-Mujahiroun, and described him as a 'champion for shariah' who regularly attended the group's events and demonstrations.

Dhar - one of Choudary's top henchmen - fled to Syria with his pregnant wife and three young children last year while under investigation by Scotland Yard.

He was one of nine men who were detained on September 25 last year on suspicion of encouraging terrorism and supporting al-Muhajiroun.

Home: The Malik family's last known address in Slough was in the block of flats on the left of this image

Home: The Malik family's last known address in Slough was in the block of flats on the left of this image

Just hours after publicly declaring he had arrived in Syria, Dhar announced he had become a father to a baby boy who was a member of the latest generation of Islamist extremists.

He wrote: 'Alhamdulillah, Allah blessed me with a healthy baby boy in the Islamic State. He is another great addition to the Islamic State. And he's definitely not British.'

In a picture posted on Twitter at the time, Dhar was seen posing with an AK47 in one hand and his new-born baby in the other while standing in front of a mustard-coloured pickup truck, wearing a thick military style coat and boots.

Two other followers of Choudary who have left Britain to join a terror group are Abu Rahin Aziz, from Luton, and former NHS surgeon Mirza Tariq Ali.

Aziz skipped bail before he was handed a 36-week jail sentence in absence for attacking a football fan in London's West End, while Ali was arrested for repeatedly assaulting a bystander at a rally and was reported to have been killed while fighting with the Taliban last month.



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