A British court has ruled that a mother, who was arrested at an airport while making an unsuccessful attempt to fly her family to Turkey to eventually reach Syria to allegedly help her children join the Islamic State terror group, can have the custody of the kids.
"I am left suspicious of what the mother was really up to but I am unable to conclude that the local authority has proved any part of its case." Liverpool High Court judge Sir James Munby said, according to Liverpool Echo.
The mother, her four children, their grandmother and an uncle were detained at a U.K. airport in March as they were getting on a plane to Istanbul with 13 torches, three power packs, five mobile phones, emergency blankets and tools in their luggage. Council social workers took the kids into care, suspecting their mother's intention.
Officials say the mother gave a wrong address to them and that they later found ISIS flags in her home. Phone numbers, e-mail addresses and passwords were found on pieces of paper secreted in the children's underwear in one of the suitcases, according to Daily Mail.
However, the mother told the court: "I am a practicing Muslim. I do not regard myself as a radical fundamentalist and have no links or contacts with ISIS militants."
"I find that the mother is an observant Muslim, but the local authority has been unable to prove either that the materials found at her home have the significance which was suggested or, more generally, that she is a radical or extremist," the judge explained. "There are many matters on which I am suspicious, but suspicion is not enough, nor is surmise, speculation, or assertion."
The judge also acknowledged, "People may yet be otherwise very good parents while yet being driven by fanaticism, whether religious or political, to expose their children to what most would think to be plain, obvious and very great significant harm."
The council's attorney, Simon Crabtree, was quoted as saying, "The reality is the mother, her own mother and her brother had no intentions of remaining in Turkey. In essence, the mother's plan was to take these children to a war zone."
ISIS is an offshoot of al-Qaeda, and is seeking to establish a caliphate in the Levant region and beyond.