Calgary

Calgary father charged with abduction after returning from Iraq alone, without 11-year-old child

Calgary police are asking the public for help in locating a 11-year-old child, who is believed to have been abducted during an overseas trip and left in Iraq.

Police are asking public for help locating Zahraa Al Aazawi

Calgary police are asking the public for any information on the whereabouts of 11-year-old Zahraa Al Aazawi who is believed to have been abducted by her father. (Calgary Police Service)

Calgary police are asking the public for help in locating a 11-year-old child, who is believed to have been abducted by her father during an overseas trip and left in Iraq.

Ali Al Aazawi, 38, has been charged under a Canada-wide warrant with one count of parental child abduction.

On June 16, 2018, Aazawi and his 11-year-old daughter Zahraa travelled from Calgary to Egypt, police said.

She was supposed to return to Canada on Sept. 5, 2018, according to a travel agreement between her parents, but while she's had limited contact with her mother while overseas, she hasn't returned.

Aazawi returned alone to Canada on April 4 and was arrested at the Toronto airport. He's being transported to Calgary to face charges.

Police say it's believed Zahraa is now in Iraq, possibly with her father's family.

Investigators are asking the public, and especially members of Calgary's Iraqi community, to share any information that could help bring the 11-year-old girl home to her mother.

Girl's safety not believed to be at risk

"We have several challenges, language challenges, cultural challenges, legal challenges," said Sgt. Curtis McMurphy of the domestic conflict unit during a press conference Wednesday. 

McMurphy said the father has not been cooperative, and there has been minimal cooperation from the family.

He said there's no reason to believe the girl's safety is at risk.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call police non-emergency at 403-266-1234, or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

Corrections

  • The Calgary Police Service initially provided the wrong age for Zahraa Al Aazawi, saying she is 12 years old. They later corrected that, noting she is actually 11, turning 12 in a few months.
    Apr 11, 2019 1:37 PM MT

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