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Police warn against involvement in conflict after arrests

Police have warned people that they could face prosecution if they travel to fight in conflicts in warzones after four people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, Head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, reassured the public that the arrests were not linked to any imminent threats to the UK, adding:

First and foremost I should reassure everyone that none of today’s activity is linked in any way to any imminent threats in Greater Manchester or the UK.

The operation has been running since autumn 2013 since we first became aware of a number of individuals travelling from the North West to the battlefields of Syria.

We look at every case on its own merits, but travelling to a warzone in order to be involved in conflict, or supporting those who do so, could make you potentially liable to prosecution for terrorism offences.

Also, as well as posing a risk to themselves, there is the very real threat that they could pose a danger to our own communities when they return to the UK.

Read: Woman, 21, among Syria terror arrests

Woman, 21, among Syria terror arrests

Three of those held are from Manchester while a 29-year-old man from Oxford was also arrested. Credit: Google Maps

Four people have been arrested by police on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism in Syria

Two men aged 29 and 18 both from Levenshulme, and a 21-year-old woman from Trafford are in custody, Greater Manchester Police said.

A 29-year-old man from Oxford has been arrested by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit on suspicion of the same offence.

Police said a number of properties were now being searched as part of the investigation.

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Police warn public not to approach killer

Police are warning people not to approach a convicted killer who is on the run.

Paul Maxwell absconded in Rochdale while on day release from jail.

He was sentenced to life in 1996 for the murder of an 85 year old man.

"It has now been more than 24 hours since Maxwell has absconded and our inquiries to trace him are ongoing. We are pursuing a number of leads and we will continue to explore every possible avenue in finding him.

"Because Maxwell may have limited access to money, he may surface in the areas he is known to have links to so I would urge people to be on their guard and if you see this man, please do not approach him but call police immediately."

– Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick

Convicted killer still on the run after day release escape

A convicted killer is still on the run after absconding while on day release from jail. Paul Maxwell, 49, disappeared while visiting Rochdale town centre on Friday with prison staff.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996 for the murder and robbery of 85-year-old Joe Smales in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. This morning police said he has still not been located.

Paul Maxwell, 49, escaped yesterday while on day release in Rochdale town centre. Credit: Greater Manchester Police.

Read: Police hunt convicted killer after day release escape

For more on this story, visit the ITV News Granada website

Police warn public not to approach escaped killer

Police have urged the public not to approach a convicted killer who escaped while on day release.

Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick said although Greater Manchester Police has "no specific intelligence" to say Paul Maxwell is a threat to the public he could "become desperate" if he runs out of money

I would urge people to be on their guard and if you see this man, please do not approach him but call police immediately.

While we have no specific intelligence to say Maxwell is a threat to the public, he was convicted of the murder of a 85-year-old man and a robbery - so if he does run out of money and becomes desperate, he may seek to commit further criminal acts.

For that reason, it is important we warn people that Maxwell is still at large and ask that people are particularly vigilant at this time, particularly if you are or know an elderly person.

– Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, Greater Manchester Police

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Police hunt convicted killer after day release escape

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for the public's help after a convicted murderer escaped while on day release.

Paul Maxwell, 49, absconded yesterday while with prison staff in Rochdale town centre.

Paul Maxwell, 49, escaped yesterday while on day release in Rochdale town centre.
Paul Maxwell, 49, escaped yesterday while on day release in Rochdale town centre. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Police describe Maxwell as white, about 5ft 7in tall, of medium build with short brown hair and blue eyes.

For more on this story, visit the ITV News Granada website

Football fans urged to lookout for missing baby

Barcelona fans in England for tonight's Champions League tie at Manchester City have been urged to be on the lookout for a missing baby and her parents.

Football fans urged to lookout for missing baby while at the Champions League tie at Manchester City.
Football fans urged to lookout for missing baby while at the Champions League tie at Manchester City. Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Four-month-old Farah Afzal - who is at the centre of proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court in London - was thought to be in the Spanish city with her father, Mohammed Afzal, 38, and mother, Zainab Rasul, 30.

Council bosses in Harrow, north-west London appealed for help finding Farah.

Ms Hall said the council began care proceedings following Farah's birth as social workers had concerns about her welfare.

Steady stream of Britons joining conflict in Syria

Police today searched a house in Manchester, which was home to a British man who was killed in Syria.

Abu Layth - his family name is understood to be Anil Khalil Raoufi - had travelled to the war-torn joined the fight against President Assad.

ITV News International Correspondent Rageh Omaar reports on the growing number of young British men choosing to take part in the conflict:

Mother of Brit 'killed in Syria' 'key part' of local community

Anil Raoufi reportedly came to the UK from Afghanistan some 10 years ago.

The mother of a British man who is reported to have been killed in Syria has been described as "very much involved in the local community."

A neighbour in the Manchester suburb Didsbury said Anil Raoufi's father was rarely seen as he would sleep during the day and work at night but the mother was very visible.

"Kamala is a gorgeous lady, really friendly, tries to integrate in everything." Another neighbour said: "Kamala is a lovely, lovely woman, completely part of the street's life, not at all isolated, since the day they arrived."I'm really shocked."

Anil Raoufi is understood to have enrolled at university and attended a local mosque before going to Syria.

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