Nine British nationals have been taken into custody by Turkish security forces as they tried to cross the border into an Islamic State-occupied area of Syria. The jihadists, four of them children, were detained at near Ogulpinar in southern Turkey.
The Daily Mail reports that the youngest of the children is believed to be just four years old, while the eldest is 11. The group also consists of three adult men and two women.
The arrests came as British police detained a 19-year-old at Luton airport on Tuesday after he returned from Istanbul. Yahya Rashid has been charged with preparing for terrorist acts and is suspected of acting as a people smuggler for Islamic State, helping four men and a woman join the group.
Yesterday, Breitbart London reported that Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for North West England, had warned that the heads of two London schools had told him they feared an ‘Easter exodus’ of students who had been seduced by Islamic State’s ideology.
The Times also reports that last night Hanif Qadir, founder of de-radicalisation group Active Change Foundation, said that whole families are being indoctrinated into hardline Salafist ideology which says that Muslims are obliged to join an Islamic caliphate if one is set up.
Qadir said: “What actions you take will affect those of your children. I think we have already seen this in the case of the father of one of the three girls that travelled to Syria from Bethnal Green Academy.
“Abase Hassen blamed the police but then it was discovered he stood next to Anjem Choudary [a Muslim activist] at an al-Muhajiroun rally. It is no wonder his daughter took the course she did.”
Over 600 people with British nationality are believed to have joined jihadists in Syria and Iraq, with half having returned home.