The Muslim Women’s Council released a statement today warning of ‘media Muslim frenzy’ as speculations mount as to the whereabouts of twelve members of the Dawood family, from Bradford.
It is believed that Sisters Khadija Dawood, 30, Sugra Dawood, 34, and Zohra Dawood, 33, left Britain on May 28, along with their nine children to go on an Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The sisters and their children were supposed to return to the UK on June 11. Seven of the children are aged between three and eight, with the other two aged 14 and 15.
It is believed the group boarded a flight from Madina in Saudi Arabia to Istanbul in Turkey on June 9 – a commonly used route into Syria.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed that they received a report of twelve missing people from the Bradford area; three adults and nine children aged between five- fifteen years.
According to reports the disappearance of the Dawood sisters and their children was reported to the police on June 11 which has since lead to an investigation to establish their whereabouts. Police are providing support to the families and are working extensively with authorities overseas to try and locate them.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We are extremely concerned for the safety of the family and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.
“Our priority is for their safe return; their families are gravely worried about them and want them home. One of our primary concerns is the safety and welfare of the young children”
As this is a live investigation – we are unable to comment further.
A statement from the Muslim Women’s Council read: ‘On behalf of Bradford’s communities we are deeply concerned about the safety and welfare of the whole family. It is too early to speculate as to their whereabouts, and until there is further evidence or information we feel there is a real danger of further adding to the media Muslim frenzy.’