Syria-Bound Son of UK Councillor Arrested on Return to Homeland

Waheed Ahmed
Waheed Ahmed was one of nine members of the same family detained in Turkey earlier this month on suspicion of trying to illegally enter Syria, April 14, 2015. Twitter via Sky News

The son of a British local politician who was detained in Turkey with eight other Britons on suspicion of trying to cross illegally into Syria, was arrested on his return to his homeland on Tuesday, police and media said.

The 21-year-old man, named in the media as Waheed Ahmed, was deported from Turkey a day earlier, the state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

British police said the man, one of nine members of the same family held in Turkey, had been arrested by detectives at Birmingham Airport on Tuesday on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

"Officers are working to ensure the safe return of eight other people to the UK," police said in a statement, adding they had earlier arrested a 31-year-old man in the Rochdale area of northern England for the same offence.

Shakil Ahmed, a local councillor for the opposition Labour party in Rochdale, issued a statement after the arrests two weeks ago saying he thought his son had been on a work placement in Birmingham.

Thousands of foreigners have joined the ranks of Islamic State and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq, many of them crossing via Turkey.

Turkish and other security services estimate some 600 are Britons, including Mohammed Emwazi, named "Jihadi John" in the British media, who has appeared in several Islamic State beheading videos.

About half of the 600 are thought to have returned home.

Syria-Bound Son of UK Councillor Arrested on Return to Homeland | World