09:59 GMT19 September 2020
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    The British man and woman travelled separately to Syria in 2014, just as Daesh declared a caliphate on the territory it had seized from Syria and neighbouring Iraq; there they met and were married. They later fled to Turkey, where they were captured and placed in an immigration detention centre.

    A British couple suspected of joining Daesh* (ISIS) and living in their so-called caliphate in Syria for four years are now freely living in the UK, where the government has insufficient evidence to charge them, reports the Daily Mail.

    Details of the case were revealed at the High Court recently, after the pair embarked on a legal challenge to “thwart” an investigation into them spearheaded by Leicestershire Police.

    Currently, the family is living in Leicestershire, after the parents won custody of the children after their brief period in foster care.

    Counter-terrorist detectives had tried to obtain statements the pair made to the Family Court in order to win their children back, where it is believed they opened up in greater detail regarding their time in Syria than when questioned by police.

    However, once discovering that police wanted to obtain their statements from the Family Court, the couple mounted a legal challenge at the High Court, before pursuing it via the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

    Couple Arrested on Suspicion of Terrorism Offences

    The British couple were arrested at Manchester Airport in January on terrorism charges after returning to England with their two children, who were born in Syria.

    However, the pair, who are reported to have had at least three electronic devices with them, were released without charge by detectives after giving “no comment” responses during the questioning.

    The police were also unable to crack the passwords to the electronic gadgets.

    During the court hearings, judges were told that the man and woman went to Syria separately in 2014, after Daesh declared a caliphate on territory captured in northern Syria and Iraq. The two met and got married, giving birth to two children.

    Daesh fighter
    © CC0
    Daesh fighter

    British authorities became aware of the family in November 2018 as they fled Syria for Turkey. It was there they were apprehended and placed in an immigration detention centre.

    The husband was considered a threat to national security, with the Home Office imposing a Temporary Exclusion Order (TEO) on him last year to prevent him from re-entering Britain.

    On 9 January 2019 the family arrived at Manchester airport, where British authorities arrested them, sending the children into care.

    Lawyers acting for the husband and wife insisted the statements should not be handed over to the police, as the two had a “right to silence”.

    Three Appeal Court judges ruled in favour of the police, however, upholding an earlier judgement that claimed the handover would not breach that right, which existed only during the police interviews, allowing the Leicestershire Police to assist Greater Manchester Police with the criminal investigation.

    *Daesh (IS, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries.


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