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Father of family believed to be heading for Syria was 'member of banned extremist group'
From the Telegraph
A British Muslim father who police fear is travelling to Islamic State with his four young children was a member of a banned extremist group, it has emerged. Police are hunting Asif Malik, his partner Sara Kiran and their family who have gone missing and are feared to be travelling to Syria.
The parents and daughter Zoha, seven; son Essa, four; son Zakariya, two; and one-year-old son Yhaya - have not been seen for nearly two weeks.
Anjem Choudary, the radical Muslim cleric, confirmed Malik had been a member of the banned group al-Mujahiroun and described him as a "champion for shariah" who regularly attended the group's events and demonstrations.
As fears were growing for the safety of Malik's four young children, Choudary said Malik remained "very influential in the community" after al-Mujahiroun was banned five years ago.
"Back in the day he was a member until the group was banned. He was still part of our demonstrations and lectures but I hadn't seen him for a few months," Choudary said. "Asif is a very good friend of mine, I haven't seen him for a while but from what I gather in the reports he and his family have left the country.I last saw him a couple of months ago, he used to attend my lectures in Slough and west London. He attended many lectures over the years and is a very good friend...He is a very studious man, a very good Muslim character. He was always a champion for shariah and is very influential in the community."
Choudary criticised the Government for attempting to restrict British Muslims from travelling to Syria. "I think they want to live under sharia and escape the oppressive life they have in this country and under this government," he said.
Police said the family's disappearance was not reported to the authorities for nine days. Malik, 31, and Miss Kiran, (I am glad that she is called 'Miss' here - the sooner we make it clear that these couplings under sharia law are not lawful wedlock the better) 29, whom neighbours said usually wore the full Islamic veil, left home without mentioning any holiday or travel plans to family members, The couple had not informed either their landlord or their children's primary school that they would be leaving the country. Neighbours said the alarm was raised after the four children failed to attend school.
I feel sorry for the children. Maybe the children of known jihadists should be taken into care and protection. But so far as the adults are concerned let them go and cancel their British passposts.