Woman who planned to travel to Syria jailed for child abduction

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A 34-year-old woman has been jailed for five years and four months for child abduction offences.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was stopped by the Turkish authorities in October last year.

Officers believed she had travelled with the intention of living under Daesh.

The woman, from West Yorkshire, returned to the UK where she was arrested and later pleaded guilty to child abduction offences.

Det Ch Supt Clive Wain, Head of North East Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “The police together with partner agencies, including local authorities and education establishments, have a wide ranging strategy in place aimed at preventing people who intend to travel to places such as Syria and parts of Iraq.

“These areas are dangerous and any person travelling to them is putting themselves and their children at risk. The reality of life in areas of conflict is far from the image that terrorist groups actively promote to women here in the UK.

“Safeguarding children is a priority for police. We are committed to safeguarding those who are vulnerable to the rhetoric issued by Daesh. Our message is clear; contact us in order to prevent tragedies. The earlier a loved one who has concerns can contact us the sooner we can intervene.”

DAC Helen Ball, senior national co-ordinator for counter terrorism, said: “Life under Daesh is no place for any child. Any mother who decides to take her children to live in a conflict zone is putting her family in grave danger.

“They are likely to witness extreme terror, become victims of violence, or, in some cases, be drawn into extremism and terrorism themselves.

“The consequences of these decisions are profound. Mothers may find themselves alone and isolated, living under an oppressive regime, often unable to leave their living quarters, let alone return home.

“Their families at home will be left devastated with very little option to secure a safe return for their loved ones; and parents themselves could find themselves in prison and losing access to their children if they are putting them in danger.”

Anyone concerned about someone travelling to or returning from a conflict zone should call police on 101 or log onto www.preventtragedies.co.uk