Family of girl who fled to Syria at 16 beg her to return to Britain

‘Come back for your daughter’s sake’: Family of ‘brainwashed’ Hampshire schoolgirl who fled to Syria to become an ISIS bride at 16 beg her to return to Britain with her two-year-old

  • Sumaiyyah Wakil travelled to Syria aged 16, leaving her family handwritten note
  • Aged 21 and with a two-year-old daughter, her family are begging her to return
  • Told brother, Salim, she didn’t want to return to UK and would become a martyr
  • She was stripped of her British citizenship, but family are appealing decision

The family of a British schoolgirl who travelled to Syria aged 16 have begged her to return to the UK so her two-year-old daughter can be safe as ISIS makes its last stand.

Sumaiyyah Wakil became an ISIS bride aged 16 when she left her Hampshire home and travelled to Syria in August 2014. 

The teenager left her family a handwritten letter begging them not to alert the police to her journey.   

Now aged 21 and with a two-year-old child, her family are desperate for her to return to Britain for the safety of her daughter. 

She travelled to the war-torn country to help those suffering during the fighting and expressed ‘anger’ about ‘the state of the Islamic community’, a court heard last month.

Flying on her own to Bulgaria, she then on to Turkey, using money stolen from a fund for her eldest sister’s wedding.  

Salim Wakil at the Old Bailey last month where he was found guilty of funding terrorism when her sent his sister, Sumaiyyah, £2,350 and jailed for 30 months

Pictures of Sumaiyyah’s daughter with a drip in her hand, sent to Wakil in May 2017 to try to persuade him to send more money

Within weeks of her arrival, she got married, had a miscarriage and became a widow, before marrying a second man who fathered her daughter, Zaynab. 

Her brother, Salim Wakil, was found guilty of funding terrorism at the Old Bailey on last month, by wiring her £2,350.

The court heard his sister wanted to die as a martyr as she made her way to ISIS-controlled areas.

Sumaiyyah left a series of Skype voice messages for relatives from Raqqa telling them how great life was and that she was not coming back.

Shamima Begum has begged to be allowed to come back to the UK to have her baby

She even sent pictures of her daughter with a drip in her hand to her brother in May 2017 to try and persuade him to send more money.

Her messages sent via WhatsApp and encryption service, Telegram, also included photos of the River Euphrates, near where she was living in Syria. 

Sumaiyyah also told her other brother, Shamim, via text message she did not want to come back to the UK and that her husband in Syria burned her passport.

Then in later texts told how she was scared after hearing about some French women who did not have enough money to pay people traffickers to smuggle them back to their home countries. 

In one voice in May 2015, she described a stoning as ‘cool’. 

She said: ‘Guess what today there’s going to be a stoning of a woman. Me and my husband are going to go and see it inshallah. So cool man.’

A family member of Sumaiyyah told the Sunday Times the youngster began wearing a headscarf aged 14 and may have been a victim of racist attacks when she was beaten up at school.

Unlike fellow ISIS bride, Shamima Begum – who travelled to Syria with two friends aged 15 – Sumaiyyah has reportedly been stripped of her British citizenship. 

Wakil (top left) at an HSBC branch in Fleet, Hampshire, in February 2017 where he withdrew £2,000 in cash to transfer to his sister in Syria

In messages to her brother, Sumaiyyah said she was scared and feared if she did not have enough money to escape Syria and pay smugglers she would be captured by Bashar al-Assad’s forces

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Her family are said to be appealing against the decision with the Home Office and the status of her daughter, who was born in Syria, is unclear.   

A close relative urged of Sumaiyyah begged her to come back, telling the Sunday Times: ‘If there’s any way you can get out, please just come back – for your daughter’s sake. 

‘We all miss you. We would really like to see you again.’ 

Her family added in a statement: ‘We pray that, whatever she may or may not have done, she and our granddaughter are safe.’

She is understood top have married Muhammad Mehdi Hassan, 19, who was killed along with fellow Portsmouth jihadist, and Mamunur Mohammed Roshid, 24, in October 2015. 

After her first husband’s death, Sumaiyyah suffered a miscarriage and then married a Canadian jihadist and is holed up in the besieged town of Baghouz, where US-Syrian forces are clearing ISIS from their few remaining strongholds. 

Shamima Begum, 19, is pleading with the government to allow her back into the country, with her family saying that they would raise her child

Salim Wakil denied funding terrorism but was convicted by a jury and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on February 8. 

The pleas of Sumaiyyah’s family come just days after Shamima Begum, who is nine months pregnant, begged to be allowed to come back to the UK to have her baby.

She is currently living in a refugee camp in a Kurdish-controlled area of Syria. 

Ms Begum was one of three Bethnal Green Academy schoolgirls in east London, who joined the terrorist group four years ago.

The schoolgirl married Yago Riedijk, 26, a Dutch Muslim convert, and had two children who died as babies. 

While living in ISIS-controlled territory her friend, Kadiza Sultana – who was 16 when they went to Syria, along with fellow schoolgirl Amira Abase, 15 – was killed in an air strike in 2015. 

Yesterday Shamima’s relatives asked the British government to give them custody of her unborn child if she is allowed to return to the country and jailed.     

Home Office minister, Ben Wallace, last week said her ‘actions have consequences’.

The government indicated it will not allow her to return but her family said they would be consulting a lawyer. 

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, warned those travelling to Syria, he would use ‘all my power to stop you coming back’

Muhammad Rahman, 36, whose brother is married to Shamima’s, elder sister Renu, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Her parents would want custody of the baby. They would want to look after their grandchild.’

A solicitor acting for the families of the Bethnal Green girls, Tasnime Akunjee, questioned if the government had the power to Shamima returning to the UK. 

He tweeted yesterday: ‘Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, does he understand UK laws?’ 

In a separate previous tweet he wrote: ‘I don’t believe he has the legal grounds or tools to stop her coming back.

‘I don’t think people, feeling the way many do, would want the state to have the burden of raising the child.’

But writing in the Sunday Times today, Mr Javid warned anyone who joined ISIS he would ‘use all my power to stop you coming back’. 

The Home Secretary said he could use powers such as banning non-British individuals from entering the UK and could also strip anyone who posed a threat to Britain of their citizenship. 

He added these ‘deprivation’ powers have been used more than 100 times.  

Last week parliament approved a new Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act, which extends the list of offences committed overseas to include ‘recklessly expressing support for a banned terrorist organisation’ and ‘sharing its publications or propaganda’ online. 

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