An official report about the death of two young brothers from Brighton in fighting in Syria has been published today (Thursday 27 July).
Abdullah and Jaffar Deghayes, who died in 2014, are referred to as siblings W and X in a serious case review published by the Brighton and Hove Local Safeguarding Children Board.
Abdullah had just turned 18 when he died and Jaffar was 17.
They are among at least three young people from Brighton and Hove who have died in the Syrian fighting, including their friend Ibrahim Kamara, 19, also from Brighton.
There are unconfirmed reports that another young man from Brighton, Mohammed Raja Khan, in his twenties, has since also died.
All were fighting for the Al-Nusra Front, which was affiliated to Al Qaida, against the government of Bashar Al-Assad.
As the report was published, the safeguarding board chairman Graham Bartlett said: “The deaths of the two brothers were a tragedy and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to all those who knew and loved them.
“This case has had a major impact on our understanding of the risks posed to children of exploitation through radicalisation.
“At the centre of this are two boys who were loved yet tragically died in what must have been terrible circumstances.
“The safeguarding risk of UK children going abroad to fight in a war was only recognised after these events and the board is faced with the task of establishing how best to help protect young people in this new global context – bearing in mind there is no single root of radicalisation.
“While there have been considerable developments of children’s social work services, including for adolescents in Brighton and Hove, I recognise there are still further improvements to be made.”
Mr Bartlett said: “It is important to stress that this review has found that prior to the siblings travelling to Syria, the national intelligence and threat assessment did not suggest that people were going abroad to fight.
“Locally, professionals had not identified that the brothers were at risk of radicalisation or at risk of fighting overseas.
“There was and remains no evidence to indicate how they were radicalised.”
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