Police cleared Dawood sisters to travel abroad

A British family of 12 who travelled to Syria to join ISIS had been cleared to go abroad by senior police officers – 10 weeks before their trip, according to ITV News.

Three sisters, Khadija Dawood, 30, Sugra Dawood, 34, and Zohra Dawood, 33, flew to Saudi Arabia with their nine children for umrah last month. They are thought to have then travelled to Syria.

But ITV News has learned that the Dawoods were given authority to leave Britain by an officer from West Yorkshire Police after the women complained that they were prevented from travelling to Saudi Arabia in March.

Because their brother, 21-year-old Ahmed Dawood, was already in Syria, the travelling sisters were questioned by officers at Manchester Airport under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The delays caused by the extra security checks forced them to miss their flight. The following day, the women sought written permission from the police to smooth their way to the Middle East in the future.

A Detective Constable from West Yorkshire Police wrote back, providing them with a letter to reassure travel agents about their future trips.

In it, the officer refers to the Dawood’s questioning by Greater Manchester officers in March:

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“The examination was lawful; however it would appear that it occurred due to an ongoing Police investigation into a separate person,” he wrote, referring to Ahmed Dawood.

“I can confirm that the passengers do not have any restrictions on their movements out of or into the United Kingdom and it is regrettable that they were disrupted from their planned travel.”

Two of the women’s husbands have previously claimed that the sisters were slowly radicalised during a police investigation into their brother.

They say officers had encouraged them to maintain contact with him over the internet to try to draw out information about ISIL.

A West Yorkshire police spokesman told ITV News: “It was a letter sent to the travel agents just to confirm that there were no travel restrictions in place at that time.”

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