A High Court judge has ruled that a woman should lose custody of her three children because she had tried to take them to Isis-controlled Syria. The woman from Leicester, was arrested in summer 2015 at Birmingham Airport holding a mobile phone which had images of children carrying firearms and wearing balaclavas.
The children, aged between four and 12, were also seen wearing clothes emblazoned with the Daesh (Isis) insignia. On Tuesday 2 May a hearing at a family court brought by Leicester City Council decided it was in the children's interests that they should be sent to live with their maternal grandparents.
Mr Justice Keehan, concluded that the woman had been given funds by "jihadist supporters" and had been in contact with jihadists in Syria. The court heard how the children's father left Great Britain in March 2013 and is understood to be in Chechnya fighting with a terrorist group.
She had been intending to fly to Munich having checked in nine suitcases and she said she was going to France after meeting her husband in Germany. But information found later indicated a plan to travel from Germany to Turkey, where she had booked three nights' accommodation in Istanbul with her children.
During the hearing, it emerged that both Turkish and Indian telephone numbers were concealed in a packet of paracetamol, one of which had been called 234 times, and was believed to have belonged to an Isis jihadi in Syria.
The ruling said according to the Guardian: "An initial examination of the mother's mobile phone provided the police with sufficient evidence to arrest her, with one message reading: 'Are you going for good?' The phone also contained images of children with firearms, and wearing balaclavas, bearing the emblem of 'Islamic State of Iraq' and the emblem commonly known as 'Isis'."
Keehan said checks made by police and a social worker had shown that the woman's home had been deserted. He continued that the "mother had destroyed or disposed of many items relating to the children, but she had with her their birth certificates and her marriage certificate. She had made plans to sell her car to her brother.
"The mother had been in contact with jihadists ... solely for the purposes of going to Syria," he said. "I found that it was plain that if the mother had succeeded in her attempts to enter Syria, and in particular to join Islamic State, the children would have been put at extreme risk of very, very significant harm, if not death."
After the children were taken from their mother they were put under a police protection order and placed into temporary foster care until the High Court hearing. The judge did not say whether the woman will face criminal charges.