UK Police: Two Teens Travel to Syria Through Turkey
“North East Counter Terrorism Unit can confirm that West Yorkshire Police has received a report that two 17-year-old boys from Dewsbury are believed to have traveled to Syria,” West Yorkshire Police said in a statement.
The two boys are named as Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal, both aged 17 and from Dewsbury, according to the BBC. Their families said they were praying for the safe return of the “ordinary Yorkshire lads.”
Hassan’s brother Hammaad Munshi was arrested in 2006 at the age of 16 after police found a guide to making napalm on his computer.
Since their disappearance last week, West Yorkshire Police have been supporting the families and carrying out extensive enquiries alongside the North East Counter Terrorism Unit, it said.
“We are extremely concerned for the safety of these two boys and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to us,” said Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom of West Yorkshire Police.
“Our priority is for their safe return; their families are gravely worried about them and want them home,” he added.
The boys were last seen by their families early on March 31 and are believed to have boarded a Thomas Cook flight at Manchester Airport later that day to Dalaman in southwest Turkey, according to the statement.
Kirklees Council chief executive Adrian Lythgo said: “We are deeply concerned for these young people and will continue to work in close partnership with the Counter Terrorism Unit, West Yorkshire Police, our communities and schools to prevent and eradicate any threats and concerns.
“We need to talk openly about these risks that are posed to our young people, and to work together to protect them. Communities and families can contact police about anyone they feel may be vulnerable. This includes anyone who is showing signs of becoming radicalized, who may have returned to the U.K. from Syria or may be planning to go to Syria or another conflict zone.”