Trio 'trying to join Islamic State' arrested after parents' tip-off

British teenagers intercepted in Istanbul and returned to England, but they have since been released on bail

Iraqi government forces hold an Islamic State flag after they claimed they controlled an Islamic State town
(Image credit: YOUNIS AL-BAYATI/AFP/Getty)

Three British teenagers have been stopped in Turkey on suspicion of attempting to travel to Syria to join Islamic State after police were tipped off by some of their parents.

Two 17-year-old boys and a 19-year-old man from north-west London were intercepted in Istanbul at the weekend and returned to England, where they were questioned by counter-terrorism officials and released on bail.According to The Times, it was "quick action" by the parents of the younger boys that thwarted their alleged attempt to join the terrorist group. The parents contacted police after the two boys failed to return home after Friday prayers.The three teenagers were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 and are due to return to a central London police station in early May "pending further enquiries".A Turkish official told the BBC that the trio had flown to Istanbul from Barcelona, in Spain, and were stopped in Sabiha Gokcen airport by Turkish authorities acting on British intelligence. "This is a good and a clear example of how the security co-operation between Western intelligence agencies and Turkey should work," the official said.More than 500 Britons are thought to have travelled to join IS, while 100 Western volunteers are estimated to be fighting alongside Kurdish forces against the militant group, says the BBC.It comes after the Metropolitan Police told a parliamentary committee last week that three missing schoolgirls, suspected to have joined IS in Raqqa, would not be treated as criminals if they returned home.Meanwhile, The Sunday Times claims that an alleged Syrian double agent has provided western intelligence agencies with the details of as many as 140 Britons who have joined IS, including a British militant who has been luring "scores" of fellow Brits to become fighters or jihadist brides.

The newspaper says the information "could lead to one of the most significant crackdowns on the Isis threat in Britain".

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.