The UK high court has allowed a local council to drop its bid to take the children of two known extremists into social care after the authorities failed to prove the kids were in danger of being radicalised.
The unnamed council had applied to the courts to take five young children into care, fearing they risked suffering emotional and psychological harm because of their parents extremist views, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
The children’s father, described as “a leading figure” of the banned UK-based terror organisation Al-Muhajiroun, has been on a terrorist watch list and their mother attended extremist meetings calling for jihad against non-Muslims.
But earlier this week, the council was allowed to drop the care proceedings after it said it could not demonstrate the children had been damaged.
Following a seven-day high court hearing, justice Knowles agreed that there was no evidence that they had been harmed, it said.
The case is believed to be one of a number in which councils have dropped plans to take the children of known extremists into care after being unable to prove they were in danger.
The father in the most recent case, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, was found by police to have encouraged others to join Islamic State (ISIS) and had discussed throwing gay men to their deaths from high buildings.
He had until recently been subject to a Terrorist Prevention and Investigation Measure (TPIM) used where someone is believed to be involved in terrorism but cannot be prosecuted or deported and is set to face trial later this year for breaches of the TPIM.
He separated from his wife in 2013, and his children lived with their mother in east London until their eldest, a girl known as Child A, went to live with her father outside London.
In June, the council had submitted documents to the court stating that “the children were suffering significant emotional and psychological harm arising from exposure to their parents’ extremist and radicalising views and were likely to adopt those same extremist and radical views”.
However, a social worker told justice Knowles at the recent hearing that the mother met the children’s basic needs, they were developing appropriately, and the children had not themselves expressed any hateful or extremist views.
In her judgment, the judge said the council would be unable to meet the threshold required by the law to take the children into care.
She wrote: “There was an absence of any evidence that the children had been significantly harmed by their parent’s alleged extremist and radicalised beliefs.”