Mother with ISIS ties kidnaps kids

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A 33 year old mother abducted two of her children (7 and 8 years old) from Maastricht and took them to Syria, Brabants Dagblad reports. According to the Public Prosecutor, this is the first time that children were abducted to the caliphate. Aysha (7) and Luca Opdam's(8) disappearance has been labelled a kidnapping as they were removed from the custody of their Dutch father without permission.

The mother (a refugee from Chechnya) left Maastricht with Aysha and Luca on October 29th last year. She was reported to be in Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State (ISIS) proclaimed caliphate, in late December. She left her two youngest children (with different fathers) with their grandmother in Maastricht. According to prosecutor Bart den Hartich, it is currently impossible to bring Aysha and Luca back to the Netherlands as there is no legal relationship with Syria and because it is a war zone. An attempt to reunite the children with their Dutch father can only be made if they travel to another country. The police and Public Prosecutor are investigating whether there is a network in Maastricht which recruits candidates for the jihad and facilitates their trip to Syria. The mother and her Dutch son and daughter almost certainly traveled with stolen travel documents. The investigation is still ongoing and the Public Prosecutor will give no further information. In the past two years 31 children traveled to Syria in a family context - with the consent of both parents, according to the Council for Child Protection. Twelve minors also left on their own.

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