Turkey to Deport UK Family Suspected of Traveling to Syria

Amid growing concerns about increasing reports claiming UK citizens traveling to ISIL held areas of Syria and Iraq via Turkey, a British man who was arrested in Turkey for trying to illegally cross over into Syria, 21-year-old Waheed Ahmed, is anticipated to be deported at the weekend. Ahmed is among nine members of the same family who were detained for allegedly trying to cross the border illegally on Wednesday.

A friend of Ahmed’s father Shakil Ahmed, Mohammed Shafiq, explained that “there were concerns in the last six months to a year about a change in his behavior,” along with “a change in his attitude towards various different isssues.” In his remarks, Shafiq told that “that was causing concern for people in the community and his family.” According to the authorities, Waheed Ahmed was with his aunt, two cousins, and the wife of one of his cousins when they were taken in custody from southern Turkey near the Syrian border. The family members to be deported to the UK include 47-year-old Zareeda Bi, 22-year-old Maboob Yasin, 24-year-old Habib Yasin, 22-year-old Samia Bi, along with youngsters aged one, three, eight and 11.

The family reportedly flew from Manchester on 27 March and Waheed Ahmed joined three days later on a flight from Birmingham. Shakil Ahmed claims that “my son is a good Muslim and his loyalties belong to Britain, so I don’t understand what he’s doing there. If I thought for a second that he was in danger of being radicalised, I would have reported him to the authorities.” He stressed that “I just want to speak to my son and get him home as soon as possible so I can find out what’s going on.”

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