Parents of ISIS teen trio fleeing to Syria tipped off police
The teenagers, two boys aged 17 and one boy aged 19, were arrested upon their return to the UK and released on bail Sunday.
Scotland Yard confirmed that the teenagers would be asked to return to a police station as the investigation continues.
Police were warned by the parents of the two 17-year-olds, believed to be from northwest London’s Pakistani community, after the boys failed to return home after Friday prayers.
The three were detained in Istanbul by Turkish authorities before they could attempt their crossing into Syria, after British police alerted their Turkish counterparts.
The arrests come only weeks after three London schoolgirls fled to Syria to become “jihadi brides” for Islamic State fighters.
Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamina Begum were reportedly helped across by the border from Turkey to Syria by people smugglers.
The arrested teenage boys are the latest in a stream of westerners who have been lured to the Islamic State.
It was recently revealed that a 22-year-old British man, who travelled to Syria two years ago, has recruited reams of fellow Brits to join ISIS as fighters.
A double agent arrested by Turkish police claimed he was working for a “high level” Islamic State commander known as Abu Kaka, who the Sunday Times believed to be Raphael Hostey, from the UK.
The double agent was working as a trafficker for the Islamic State chief, and had details of more than 140 Brits on his laptop when he was arrested.
It is believed he is responsible for helping the three teenage girls into Syria last month.
More than 600 Brits have travelled to the Middle East to join the extremist organization since 2011. Turkey has been criticized for failing to secure its borders and allowing foreign fighters to slip through undetected.
But Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “I welcome the action that has been taken by the Turkish authorities.
“We need to prevent people going in the first place and that is why parents need to be vigilant but we also need cooperation from the Turkish authorities in order to stop them from going further.
“We need to be vigilant. Clearly this flight of young people to Turkey in order to go to Syria is on a much larger scale than we envisaged.”
Scotland Yard said Turkish authorities were tipped off about the boys on Friday night.
A Turkish official said: “Turkey is doing all that it can to stop the passage into Syria, but there has to be cooperation. This operation shows what can be achieved when there is cooperation.”