The husbands of three Bradford sisters feared to have travelled to Syria with their nine children said they “miss and love” them as they appealed for their return
Khadija, Sugra and Zohra Dawood, from Bradford, and their children aged three to 15 have not made contact for a week. Their brother is understood to be fighting with extremists in Syria.
Akhtar Iqbal made an emotional appeal to wife Sugra during the news conference, saying: “I’m shaking and I miss you. It’s been too many days.”
Among those missing are Junaid’s five children Ismaeel, three, Mariya, five, Zaynab, eight, Ibrahim, 14 and Junaid Ahmed, 15.
“I miss you, I love you. All of you, I love you a lot. I can’t live without you.
“I am worried about my daughters. Please call me.
“Especially Junaid. You are 15. Please, if you watch this video, please ring me. Please contact me. I love all of you and I can’t live without you.
“Please, Mariya, I love you. I don’t know what to say, I’m shaking. I miss you. It’s been too many days.
“Please come back home so we can live a normal life. There’s nothing wrong. I miss you.
“That’s all I want to say. I want them back.”
Mohammed Shoaib, the husband of Khadija Dawood, was in tears as he pleaded for his wife of 11 years to return, saying: “The kids cannot live without me. They miss me so much.
“The last time [we spoke], my daughter Maryam said ‘Daddy, I cried last night, I cry all night for you’. And my son said: ‘I miss you so much’.”
He reassured his family: “I’m not angry, everything is fine.”
The husband of Zohra, who vanished with their two children, was not at the press conference because he lives overseas.
The group went missing following a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The fathers last spoke to their children on 8 June, when they were in the Saudi city of Medina. The sisters are understood to have bought tickets for a flight on 9 June to Istanbul in Turkey, a commonly-used route into Syria.
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.”
North East Counter Terrorism Unit is leading the investigation into the missing family.