'Syria-bound' Briton held in Turkey arrested on return home

19th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

A British woman detained in Turkey on suspicion of seeking to join Islamic State (IS) insurgents in Syria was returned home on Thursday and promptly arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences, police said.

The 21-year-old, identified by Turkish media as Jalila Nadra H., was arrested at Luton airport near London on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.

"The woman, a British national, was arrested as she entered the UK having landed on a flight from Istanbul. She is currently in custody at a south London police station," he said.

The woman was detained on Monday at the bus station in Ankara and was questioned by Turkish police before being transferred to Istanbul on Thursday morning to be deported, according to Anatolia news agency.

She was the fourth Briton held in Turkey in a week on suspicion of trying to cross the border to Syria.

Three male teenagers, two aged 17 and another aged 19, were held at Istanbul airport last week. They too were deported to Britain, where they were arrested and then bailed on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism.

Turkey has stepped up border security in the face of Western criticism that it is not doing enough to prevent the transit of foreign fighters across its volatile border.

An estimated 700 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria since the conflict there began.

The success of British and Turkish officials in the past week contrasts with the failure to stop three British girls reaching Syria earlier this year.

London school friends Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-olds Shamima Begum and Amira Abase followed the path of another schoolfriend who left for Syria in December.

Turkish authorities announced last week they had arrested an intelligence agent working as a spy for an unidentified country in the US-led coalition, who is claimed to have helped the three British girls reach Syria.

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© 2015 AFP

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