REVEALED: Children of British ISIS brides are being returned to UK in secret and put up for adoption
- At least 10 children of women that joined ISIS have been returned
- Among them are two siblings currently in foster care in south-east England
- At least 38 children with ties to the UK remain in detention camps in Syria
The children of British women who joined the ISIS terror group are being returned to the UK and put up for adoption, it has emerged.
At least ten children are said to have been repatriated from detention camps in Syria. Those that have been repatriated are understood to be mainly orphans of unaccompanied minors.
Among them were two siblings whose British mother is believed to have been killed in northeastern Syria in 2019. Their father, who is not British, is understood to have been captured and is currently in a detention camp for foreign fighters, The Sunday Times reports.
The Syria-born siblings were repatriated last year and are said to be living with foster carers in south-east England and are set to be adopted, despite one set of grandparents that do not live in the UK being willing to care for them.
Campaigners say that this offer was rejected by the local authority that is responsible for the children in Britain.
They were initially transferred with other relatives to al-Hol detention camp in northeastern Syria following the collapse of the self-proclaimed Caliphate, but were later moved to an orphanage. It is said that this is when London became involved.
Children gather outside their tents, at al-Hol camp, which houses families of members of ISIS, in Hasakeh province. MailOnline is not suggesting these children are among those being sent to the UK
A woman sits with her child on the ground at Camp Roj, where relatives of people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group are held, in Syria. MailOnline is not suggesting these children are among those being sent to the UK
Charities say that seven other unaccompanied children have been returned to Britain, with one further being allowed back last October with his mother. All are believed to have received counselling, with older children possibly having been referred to the Prevent deradicalisation programme.
It is estimated that at least 38 children with ties to the UK remain in camps in Syria, along with 21 women.
Among them is Shamima Begum, the east London girl who left to join ISIS with two friends aged 15 in 2015. Ms Begum was stripped of her British citizenship by the Home Office. All three of her children, fathered by a Dutch-born Jihadist, died.
Britain is the last Western state to have refused to repatriate families that joined the ISIS, and has made exceptions only for a small number of unaccompanied children. The United States has claimed that repatriation is the ‘only durable solution’.
There are growing calls for the government to change course, with fears that children stranded in Syria are both in danger and at risk of radicalisation.
Reprieve, a human rights charity, said that the UK was ‘abdicating responsibility’ and that boys faced being moved to dangerous adult prisons when they reached adolescence.
‘It shames ministers and shocks the conscience that British kids are growing up in freezing tents in dangerously unstable detention camps simply because their government refuses to bring them home,’ Katherine Cornett told The Sunday Times.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘Each request for consular assistance from Syria is considered on a case-by-case basis taking into account all relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to, national security.’
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