UK politician: Son among Syria-bound Britons held in Turkey
LONDON - The Associated Press
U.K. police say the group detained in Turkey on April 1 included three men, two women and four children aged 1 to 11. They are being deported back to Britain. AA PhotoA local politician in Britain has stated that his son is one of nine Britons arrested in Turkey for allegedly trying to enter Syria.
Shakil Ahmed, a Labour Party councilor in Rochdale, northwest England, said on April 2 that he had thought his university student son was in Birmingham, England. Ahmed said he was “shocked, worried and extremely upset” to learn that he was in Turkey.
U.K. police say the group detained in Turkey on April 1 included three men, two women and four children aged 1 to 11. They are being deported back to Britain.
The nine are among a spate of recent cases of U.K. citizens trying to reach areas of Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Several have been apprehended, but three teenage schoolgirls are believed to have reached Syria in February.
Thousands of foreigners from different countries have joined the ranks of radical groups like ISIL, with many of them crossing through Turkey.
Security services estimate some 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups, including a man known as “Jihadi John,” who has appeared in several ISIL beheading videos. About half are thought to have returned to their home country.
Turkey has stepped up border security, regularly releasing details of would-be fighters it has detained, after criticism claiming the country had not done enough to stem the flow of foreign fighters travelling through the region.