Teenage boys from north west London bailed on terror charges after trying to enter Syria
- Credit: ABACA/Press Association Images
Three teenage boys from north west London have been bailed by police after being detained by Turkish officials as they attempted to travel to Syria.
They were arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts after they returned to the UK yesterday by the Met’s counter terrorism officers.
A spokesman for police said on Friday they were made aware two 17-year-old boys had gone missing and were believed to be travelling to Syria, and it then became clear they had travelled with a third person - a 19-year-old man also from London.
According to reports the families of the younger boys alerted officers when the pair did not return from Friday prayers.
“Officers alerted the Turkish authorities who were able to intercept all three males, preventing travel to Syria,” he added.
“On Saturday, March 14 the three males returned to the UK and at approximately 11.10pm were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.
“They have been bailed to return to a central London police station pending further enquiries.”
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It comes just weeks after an international police hunt was launched to find three London schoolgirls who travelled to Istanbul on their journey to Syria.
MP Keith Vaz, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the latest detention suggests the flow of young people intending to travel to Syria is ‘on a much larger scale than we envisaged’.
“I welcome the action that has been taken by the Turkish authorities,” he said.
“We need to prevent people going in the first place and that is why parents need to be vigilant but we also need cooperation from the Turkish authorities in order to stop them from going further.
“We need to be vigilant. Clearly this flight of young people to Turkey in order to go to Syria is on a much larger scale than we envisaged.”
Concerns about how Turkish authorities dealt with the disappearance of the three missing girls last month, raised by their families, proved how important it is to “act quickly”, he added.