A British mum was left “distraught” after her ex-husband “kidnapped” their three young children and took them to north Africa.
Dawn Daley, 43, claimed former partner Fares Aljehani, 33, had tricked her into allowing him to take their kids on a beach holiday at fishing village in north Yorkshire.
However unbeknown to her, Libyan national Aljehani allegedly flew out of the UK to Tunisia with the three children and his new wife Samiyah, in her 20s.
Heartbroken Dawn said: “I feel like there’s nothing worth living for without them. He’s broken my family in half.”
Dawn said she last heard from her three kids – Khalid, eight, Aasiyah, six and Maimunah, four – over two weeks ago after dropping them off with their dad.
But she was left in a state of “panic” after he failed to respond to her messages and appeared to have left his home when she went to pick up her kids 10 days later.
Dawn later spoke to a restaurant owner – where Aljehani worked – who said he had quit his job a day earlier to move abroad.
And the terrified mum said she was later told by Greater Manchester Police that they’d released a warrant for Fares and Samiyah Aljehani on charges of “abduction”.
She said: “The police have said they’ve tracked them so far to Tunisia. All five of them boarded the plane.
“Fares is a Libyan national, and I’ve been to Libya and Tunisia in the past, and from Tunisia, it’s only a few hours’ drive to Libya, so when they said that, I just knew that they were there.
“They’ve now put warrants out for the two for abduction, with high-risk missing person’s tags put on the children. They’ve advised that names have been put up at airports.
She added: “I’ve always had this fear that he’s going to do this.”
Dawn, a full-time mum from Manchester, said that her ex-husband had asked to look after their kids for 10 days in August for a holiday to Robin Hood Bay, in North Yorkshire.
She said she had split up with Aljehani, who had moved to the UK in 2009, two years ago, after his strict faith had created “problems” with their marriage.
She said: “The plan was to take them to Robin Hood Bay for a week, and then he was going to drop them off the following Wednesday.
“I didn’t speak to them during that time, as when they’re with their dad, he doesn’t really allow me to speak to them.
She added: “During our marriage, he went more into his religion and stuff – and that brought up problems, as he wanted me to be at the level he was at with it.”
Dawn said she began ringing and texting her ex-husband a few days before he was due to return their three children to her, but worryingly, she got no response.
She said: “Two days before August 10, I started to call his phone number, and I kept getting the response, “This number is not accepting calls at the moment, please try again later.”
“I just thought maybe they’re in an area that’s got bad service or something. I’d also messaged him a few times via text, but I couldn’t see if it had been delivered or read or anything.”
Dawn said she then went to Fares Aljehani’s home on August 10, but she said the place seemed deserted and was told by his neighbour he had sold his car.
She said: “On the Wednesday at 12.30pm, I actually drove down to his house.
“I actually knocked on the downstairs neighbour. He said he’d not seen him for a while. I asked: ‘Have you seen his car?’ And he said ‘I think he sold it.'”
Frantic Dawn then went to a takeaway shop where Fares had worked on the weekends, but his boss told her the dad had handed in his notice and moved away.
She said: “I went in and asked for the boss, and said, ‘Does Fares work here?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘No, he’s left.’
“I said ‘When did he leave?’ He said, ‘He messaged me on Monday to hand his notice in’. He then asked me why, and I said, ‘He has my children’.”
The distraught mum then immediately phoned the police, and the following day, on August 11, she said specialist officers began making inquiries about her missing kids.
Dawn said the police later told her that Fares and Samiyah Aljehani had boarded a TUI flight from Manchester airport on August 8 with her three kids.
She said: “Obviously, when they flew out, Samiyah just looked like their mum, as they’ve all got the same name.
“And in regard to needing permission from the mum and stuff, they would have just looked at her and thought that’s her mum.”
“I know the children had Libyan passports that their dad got for them, but I kept the British passports because I’ve always feared this.”
Greater Manchester Police have been contacted for comment.