The Luton family of 12 who were reported to be heading to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State are “safer than ever”, according to a statement said to be on their behalf.
The statement, purportedly sent by a member of IS according to the BBC, said it was “outrageous” to suggest the family had been kidnapped and forced to join the group.
The family including three children aged between one and 11, has not been seen since May 17.
The missing family is:
Muhammed Abdul Mannan, 75, and his wife Minera Khatun, 53
Their daughter Rajia Khanom, 21, and sons Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25, Mohammed Toufique Hussain, 19, Mohammed Abil Kashem Saker, 31, and his wife Sheida Khanam, 27
Mohammed Saleh Hussain, 26, and his wife Roshanara Begum, 24, along with three children, aged between one and 11
The statement, which the BBC say was passed to them by a Briton fighting with IS, said the family had arrived in a land that was “free from corruption and oppression” and had not been “commanded” to join by a single person but by the “Khalifah of the Muslims”.