‘Syria-bound’ Bradford children went to school where teacher was stabbed


From the Guardian

Two of the nine children who disappeared from Bradford and are suspected of travelling to Syria attended a school where a teacher was stabbed last week.

Junaid Ahmed Iqbal, 15, and his brother Ibrahim Iqbal, 14, had been pupils at Dixons Kings academy before they went to Saudi Arabia with their mother, Sugra Dawood, 34, and three siblings on 28 May. Sugra’s two sisters and their four children were also on the trip but failed to return to Bradford as planned on 11 June. It is feared some or all of the family have crossed into Syria, where a brother of the sisters is thought to be fighting with Islamic State.

Last Thursday, a 14-year-old boy (described as ‘Asian’ by the press) from Dixons Kings was arrested in Bradford after Vincent Uzomah, a science teacher, was stabbed in the stomach during the first lesson of the day. He appeared in court on Saturday charged with attempted murder and possession of cannabis.

Some background, also from the Guardian.

Families complain of lack of help as investigation into fate of three mothers and nine children is taken over by counter-terror police. 

Relatives of three sisters and nine children feared to have travelled to Syria have complained that they are receiving no help from the police, leaving them to investigate the disappearances “off their own backs”. The husbands of the missing women are said to be distraught; their lawyer said they had been told there was only one British police officer in Turkey trying to prevent Britons from joining extremists in Syria and Iraq. Bradford police confirmed on Tuesday that the counter-terror unit is now leading on the case.

Alyas Karmani, a local councillor for the Respect party, told the Guardian the sisters and their children were all Bradford born and bred but their parents came from the ultra-conservative Pathan community on the north-west frontier of Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

Karmani said he understood that British police knew the sisters’ brother had gone to Syria two years ago and were monitoring the family.

At least two of the sisters had been unhappily married to Pathan men who came over to Bradford from Pakistan for arranged marriages, he said. The marriages were not a success, he said, adding that he believed that one of the sisters was now divorced and another estranged from her husband. It is thought these two husbands, or ex-husbands, raised the alarm when the women and children failed to return on 9 June.

I understand there is a certain cachet in islamic circles to being the widow of a jihadist and mother of a shahid. 

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