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Woman travelling with children held at airport in Syria 'terror' probe

Published 29/07/2015

The woman was arrested at Birmingham Airport
The woman was arrested at Birmingham Airport

A woman travelling with three children has been arrested at an airport on suspicion of preparing to travel to Syria to engage in terrorism.

West Midlands Police said the suspect, from Leicester, was detained at Birmingham Airport at 9.40am.

Counter-terrorism officers are now searching the 30-year-old woman's home and another associated address.

In a statement confirming details of the arrest, West Midlands Police said: "There were three children travelling with the woman.

"Officers are working with partner agencies to ensure their welfare is safeguarded."

The woman was arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act on suspicion of preparing to travel overseas to engage in terrorist acts.

Anti-terror officers now have a maximum of 36 hours to question the suspect before charging or releasing her, or applying to a court for a warrant of further detention.

The arrest is the latest in a string of interventions by the authorities as part of efforts to prevent Britons travelling to Syria.

Police and security services believe at least 700 extremists have travelled to the war-torn country - with around half thought to have returned to the UK.

Several cases have emerged in which women and children are feared to have gone to parts of Syria controlled by the so-called Islamic State.

Earlier this month it was reported that several members of the same family from Luton, including three children, were feared to have travelled to Syria after a holiday in Bangladesh.

Scotland Yard confirmed two weeks ago that it believed more than 40 women and girls had travelled to Syria from Britain in the last year.

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From Belfast Telegraph