Children of couple at centre of terror probe must be monitored by social workers

A Muslim couple facing allegations of “terror-related offences” can care for three children – but must be monitored by council social services staff, a High Court judge says.

The man and woman became embroiled in family court litigation relating to the care of their children after being stopped at Gatwick following a holiday in Turkey more than a year ago.

Mrs Justice Knowles says the three children, who are aged between six and 14, can stay at home.

But she says social services bosses will have control of the children’s lives, under a care plan agreed with the couple, who are the subject of an ongoing police investigation following allegations of “terror-related offences”.

She says the plan means that electronic devices can be inspected on request and “monitoring software” might be installed.

Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles analysed issues relating to the care of the three children at a private family court hearing in Leicester (pictured) earlier this year and has outlined detail of the case in a written ruling published online.

The judge said neither the children, nor their parents, could be identified in media reports of the case.

She said the couple had arrived in the UK in 2003 and indicated that they have previously lived in France.

“The mother is a strong, if not, fanatical sympathiser of terrorism, and with the use of murder and violence in the support of the aims of the so-called Islamic State,” said the judge in the ruling.

“The father too sympathises with violent extremism and terror.”

She said council social services staff would try to “re-calibrate” the couple’s beliefs.

“I do not underestimate the magnitude of the task which lies ahead for the local authority, and its partner agencies, in seeking to re-calibrate the beliefs of these parents towards a more inclusive and tolerant acceptance of those who live in this country, and who do not observe the Muslim faith,” said the judge.

“Both the mother and father profess themselves to have been profoundly shocked by the police and local authority’s intervention in their family life.”

She added: “It is obvious to me, how much they love their children, and I urge them to make full use of the help and assistance available to them.

“They owe it to their children to do so.

“If they fail to do so or believe that mere lip service to what is demanded will suffice, they are most seriously mistaken.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Lucy Bogustawski / PA Wire.