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{UAH} Teenage brothers killed in Syria had been under police watch for years

Mayimuna/Afuwa Kasule/Edward Irundrua

Please note the sad case of these two teenagers who were killed in Syria in reference to the Omar Khadr case in Canada. The teenagers' uncle was also a Guantanamo detainee and received money from the British taxpayer: In fact he rejoined the terrorists and is believed to be still in Syria, fighting for one of the terrorist franchises:

"The brothers' uncle Omar Deghayes had been held in Guantanamo Bay for five years until his release in 2007 and received £1 million compensation for his detention". 

Teenage brothers killed in Syria had been under police watch for years

Jaffar Deghayes
Jaffar Deghayes, who died fighting in Syria aged just 17

Two teenage brothers killed while fighting in war-torn Syria were radicalised right under the noses of police and social services, according to a damning report.

Their entire family had been  monitored for years,but police and social workers in Brighton, East Sussex, failed to identify tell-tale signs of radicalisation.

When an elder brother Amer Deghayes fled to go on jihad, authorities failed to stop his two younger siblings.

Abdullah Deghayes
Abdullah Deghayes

Abdullah Deghayes, 18, and Jaffar, 17, who boarded a £59 one-way flight from Luton to Istanbul and travelled to Syria, were both killed just a few months after their arrival.

The brothers' uncle Omar Deghayes had been held in Guantanamo Bay for five years until his release in 2007 and received £1 million compensation for his detention. There is no suggestion that Omar Deghayes was responsible for his nephews' radicalisation and decision to travel to Syria to wage jihad.

Abdullah Deghayes was killed by a sniper while chasing retreating forces in Latakia in April 2014 and Jaffar six months later during a firefight amid the ruins of Idlib.

Now a Serious Case Review has highlighted how the agencies failed to spot the boys' radicalisation.

Omar Deghayes
Omar Deghayes who spent five years in Guantanamo Bay CREDIT: CHRISTOPHER PLEDGER

It says there was "no recognition" the boys were being radicalised and reveals the missed opportunities to intervene in the siblings' lives. 

The report, commissioned by the city's local safeguarding children board (LSCB), highlights:

  • Police, youth and social workers and counter-terrorism officers failed to share vital information.
  •  Agencies failed to recognise the brothers were being radicalised
  •  Did not understand the part religion played in their lives.
  • Failed to take proper action when extremist action was displayed

In 2012, Jaffar had made threats to kill and told police who arrested him that 'judgment day' was coming for police who "did not follow Allah".  

In 2013, a school raised concerns that some young people were converting to Islam and some had been paid by a relative of the brothers' to attend a gym behind a place of worship.

But the report said no further information was gathered about the activities at the gym despite some teenagers being offered money to attend. 

Amer Deghayes
Amer Deghayes

A second opportunity came in the same year after Jaffar was referred to a panel after he branded all Americans "terrorists."

But the panel concluded Jaffar was "not at risk of being drawn into terror-related activities".

The report said: "Both these instances were missed opportunities to learn more about the activities of the young people and to understand the links between young people in Brighton."

It added: "Moreover at that time there was little local or national knowledge or understanding of the risks to children from being exploited into radicalisation to go and fight in wars elsewhere in the world."

The report, commissioned by the city council's local safeguarding children board, tells an all too common story of how disaffected Muslim youths end up being radicalised.

Brought up by an abusive father in a strict Muslim family, they were subjected to harsh punishments.

Jaffar Deghayes
Jaffar Deghayes

According to the report, the five siblings' father made them get up at 4.30am to study the Koran and punished them if he felt they were not studying properly, including whipping them with electrical wire.

In 2007 the boys' uncle, Omar Deghayes, was released from Guantanamo Bay after being held for five years.

His return to Brighton led to an angry backlash among their local community and the family were subjected to racism.

Graffiti reading "Behead all Muslims" was daubed near their home and when their house was attacked and windows broken by a mob in 2008 police were forced to install CCTV.

In one instance protesters dressed as Osama bin Laden and draped in KKK robes gathered outside their home.

At their school, Longhill High, where pupils came from some of Brighton's most deprived areas, the boys were targeted by racist bullying and they were branded "terrorists." Subjected to insults and violence on a daily basis, they formed a gang for protection.

The gang - with Abdullah at its head - became notorious for shoplifting, mugging and violence.

Abdullah was constantly in trouble with the police for several years but his younger brother Jaffar only came to police attention when he started to become radicalised.

As their parents' marriage disintegrated, the eldest child Amer became the father figure of the family.

Sick of a perceived a lack of action by the West over Syria, Amer and his friend Ibrahim Kamara were becoming more and more radicalised.

His siblings began to look up to him for guidance and he began to lure them towards extremism. 

In 2013 he helped set up a gym and some young people were being paid to attend and were converting to Islam.

They in turn began to pass the extremist message and very soon up to 26 youths were radicalised.

By the time it finally began to dawn on the authorities it was too late. Amer was the first to leave, followed by Abdullah and Jaffar shortly afterwards.

The Serious Case Review said: "The realisation the boys were in Syria led to shock and confusion.

"There was no recognition that any of the siblings were becoming vulnerable to being exploited into radicalisation. Nor was there much understanding of the part that religion played in their lives."

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