British woman arrested at Luton airport, suspected of preparing terrorist acts

Reuters / Luke MacGregor
A British woman has been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terror when she arrived at Luton Airport from Turkey.

Jamila Henry, 21, was detained at a bus station in the Turkish capital of Ankara as officers suspected her of attempting to enter Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, according to the BBC.

Henry is believed to have traveled to Turkey using her twin sister Jalila’s passport.

She was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts as she disembarked the plane from Istanbul on Thursday.

She is the latest in a string of young Britons trying to leave the UK to join Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq via Turkey. Would-be jihadists use Turkey as a gateway into neighboring Syria.

READ MORE: 3 British teenagers aiming to join ISIS in Syria detained in Turkey, sent back

On Monday, three London teenagers were arrested in Turkey for allegedly attempting the journey. The male suspects from London – two aged 17 and one 19 – were also arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

They have been released on bail from a police station in the capital.

Last month, three British schoolgirls from London traveled to Turkey and are now believed to have crossed into Islamic State-held territory. Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, were captured on CCTV boarding a bus to the Syrian border from Istanbul.

READ MORE: ‘Protected from himself’: Travel ban for teen whose brothers died fighting in Syria

On Wednesday, a court placed a travel ban on a 16-year-old boy because of concerns he may follow in the footsteps of his two older brothers, who traveled to Syria and have since been killed in the fighting.

In an interview earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron highlighted his concerns over the number of boys and girls attempting to travel to the region.

He told the BBC: “In the past the danger has been more about boys but we can now see that is changing.”

“We can't entirely say it's a matter for the police or the border force, everyone has to be involved in spotting signs of radicalization and combating those signs.”

“It is a really big issue for our whole country to get to grips with and work out how we put a stop to it.”