Turkey deporting British group seized on Syrian border

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2015 5:07 AM

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish authorities have begun deporting back to Britain nine British citizens who were arrested trying to cross into Syria, a Turkish official said Tuesday.

One of the group was expelled late Monday. British police said he was arrested on arrival at Birmingham Airport on suspicion of a terrorist offense.

Shakil Ahmed, a Labour Party councilor in Rochdale, northwest England, has identified the man as his 21-year-old son, Waheed Ahmed.

The other eight Britons were expected to fly back Tuesday from the southern city of Antalya to Manchester.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of rules against commenting without prior authorization, said the group bought their own airline tickets.

The group of three men, two women and four children aged 1 to 11 was detained in Hatay province, bordering Syria, on April 1.

The nine are among a spate of recent cases of U.K. citizens — including teenagers as young as 15 — trying to reach areas of Syria controlled by the Islamic State group.