June 29, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday seized copies of al-Jareeda and al-Tayar newspapers for publishing stories which stated that the daughter of the foreign ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadig has joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
According to local press reports, twelve Sudanese college students have secretly flown on Friday night to Turkey to join ISIS.
The students are enrolled in the University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) owned by the Khartoum state health minister Mamoon Humaida.
Several social media websites have circulated statements attributed to the foreign ministry spokesperson in which he confirmed that his daughter left Khartoum on Friday without completing travel requirements, alluding to complicity of unspecified parties in helping students run off to join ISIS.
According to al-Jareeda, al-Sadig, who travelled to Turkey at dawn on Monday, accused unnamed bodies of helping his daughter and 18 other students to join the extremist group, saying “there are some people who [forced her] to leave”.
Several Whatsapp groups have circulated text messages alleging that al-Sadig told a number of journalists at Khartoum airport that unnamed bodies pay large bribes to facilitate departure of students seeking to travel to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
He stressed that the students were not screened per the routine procedures for each person departing the country, saying he identified his daughter from the security camera at the airport.
Al-Sadig further emphasized that his daughter’s name was not on the list of departing passengers.
However, the foreign ministry issued a press release on Monday denied the statements attributed to al-Sadig in the social media websites and al-Jareeda newspaper.
It stressed that the statements attributed to the spokesperson are fabricated, saying he neither met with journalists nor did he make any statements.
The Turkish authorities have detained 18 Sudanese students on Sunday morning who were on their way to join ISIS. They will be handed over to the Sudanese embassy in Ankara in order to transfer them back to Khartoum.
According to Al-Sudani newspaper on Monday, the female student and the main coordinator of the voyage was among the group arrested by the Turkish authorities.
According to press reports, 7 of the students hold British passports, 2 hold Canadian passports while one holds American passport besides 2 holding Sudanese passports.
Among the names were Mohammed & Hamza Serar Hamza al-Hassan, the nephews of businessman Abdul-Basit Hamza, Eman Sideeg Abdul-Aziz, Zubaida Emad-Eddin, Mohammed Salim Mohammed Ahmed, Ibrahim & Mohamed Adil Bashir Ageed, Sagi Mohamed Osman and Amir Mamoun Sayed Ahmed al-Awad.
ISIS presence in Sudan has made the headlines last March after British media outlets confirmed that nine medical students from Sudanese origins entered Syria via Turkey to work in hospitals under the control of ISIS.