A mother-of-five has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction amid fears she was travelling to Syria to join Islamic State. Zahera Tariq, 33, was arrested at Luton airport on Thursday (3 September) as she arrived in the UK on a flight from Istanbul, Turkey.
Tariq and her sons Muhammad, 12, Amaar, 11, Aadid, four, and daughter Safiyyah, nine, were reported missing from their home in Waltham Forest last week.
They were pictured on CCTV on 25 August as they flew to Amsterdam from London City airport and then travelled to Turkey, where they were detained by authorities. Her four children have been taken into police protection. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that Tariq was traced by counter terror police after an appeal for information from the public.
It's the latest report of a suspected British jihadist attempting to flee to Syria with their family.
43 British women and girls are now in Syria, many having gone to join Isis to become "Jihadi Brides," according to counter-terrorism chiefs at the Metropolitan Police. In the last two years high-profile reports of women and girls to have fled to Syria have included the Glasgow public schoolgirl Aqsa Mahmood; the three schoolgirls from East London, Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum; and three Bradford sisters who took their nine children with them.
One woman from Manchester, who fled to Syria with her five children, is now desperate to return to the UK after experiencing the harsh reality of life under Isis. Shukee Begum left last year and made her way into Syria via Turkey.
The woman was reportedly married to an Islamic State fighter and claims she only travelled to Isil's self declared capital of Raqqa, with the intention of persuading her husband, Muftah el-Deen, a jihadist and also a British national, to return home with her.
Her husband is believed to have died in conflict and Begum is now appealing for help to return home to safety with her three daughters and two sons, who are aged between one and 12.
Just two out of 600 females who have fled from the West to join Islamic State (Isis) have returned home from Syria, government figures show.