Turkey-UK police need hotline, MP says
LONDONThe United Kingdom police must urgently set up round-the-clock communications with their counterparts in Turkey to stop Britons crossing into territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), The Guardian quoted a member of the U.K. parliament as saying.
Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, made the demands after meeting the husbands of two of three sisters who are feared to have traveled to Syria with their children to join the terror group, the newspaper said.
Khadija Dawood, 30, Sugra Dawood, 34, and Zohra Dawood, 33, and their nine children, aged between three and 15, are feared to have traveled via Istanbul after visiting Saudi Arabia for a religious pilgrimage.
Labour MP Vaz Sugra’s husband, Akhtar Iqbal, and Mohammad Shoaib, Khadija Dawood’s husband, were to discuss the situation on June 22.
A lawyer acting for the men wrote to Vaz over the weekend, accusing U.K. police of being complicit in the alleged “grooming and radicalizing” of the three Bradford sisters, saying the husbands were “extremely disappointed with the manner in which this matter is being investigated by West Yorkshire police.”
Vaz said there were a number of urgent measures that should be put in place.
“Firstly, we need a hotline between the U.K. and Istanbul. ISIL works on a 24/7 basis and our consulate in Istanbul must also work continuously. We cannot continue to rely on emails,” Vaz said. “Rather like the Bethnal Green case, the system needs to cope better with these urgent cases,” he said, referring to the Bethnal Green teenagers who ran away together to Turkey and are believed to have joined ISIL.