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Three charged after 'trying to smuggle themselves to Syria'

Three men have been charged with terror offences after allegedly attempting to smuggle themselves out of the UK and travel to Syria or Iraq "in order to engage in terrorism", the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Following an investigation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, I have today authorised police to charge Gabriel Clement Rasmus, Anas Abdow Abdalla and Mahamuud Diini, all from Birmingham, with the preparation of acts of terrorism, contrary to s5(1)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006.

All three men were arrested on 3 April 2015 when they were found in the back of an articulated lorry at the Port of Dover. The allegation is that they were attempting to smuggle themselves out of the United Kingdom and travel to Syria or Iraq in order to engage in terrorism.

– Mari Reid, Crown Prosecution Service


Man arrested at Birmingham airport on suspicion of terrorism

A 21-year-old man has been arrested at Birmingham Airport on suspicion of terrorism, police said.

Waheed Ahmed was arrested for allegedly trying to cross into Syria.

The man is believed to be Waheed Ahmed, the son of a Labour councillor, who was detained in Turkey earlier this month along with eight of his relatives as they allegedly tried to cross the border into war-torn Syria.

Greater Manchester Police said they are working to ensure the safe return of the rest of the group, which included four children aged one, three, eight and 11.

Report: Waheed Ahmed flown back from Turkey

A Labour councillor's son who was detained in Turkey on suspicion of trying to enter Syria illegally is being flown back to the UK, it has been claimed. Waheed Ahmed, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and eight of his relatives were stopped by Turkish authorities as they allegedly tried to cross the border into the war-torn country on April 1.

Waheed Ahmed was arrested for allegedly trying to cross into Syria. Credit: ITV News

Simon Danczuk, who is defending the Rochdale seat for Labour in the General Election, said he been told by the Foreign Office that Ahmed was due to arrive into Birmingham Airport today.

The Foreign Office said it did not comment on individual cases. Mr Danczuk could not confirm when the remaining eight Britons would return to the UK.


Killed Syrian preacher's family pay tribute to 'peaceful man'

The family of a Syrian preacher whose murder is being investigated by counter-terrorism police have described him as a "peaceful man in a violent world".

Syrian-born British national Abdulhadi Arwani, 48, from west London, was discovered dead with gunshot wounds in a parked car on Tuesday in Wembley.

Police have said they remain open-minded about the motive for the shooting of father-of-six Murhaf Arwani. Credit: Press Association

A family statement said the father-of-six, who was a fierce critic of the Assad regime, "showed so much love to his congregation and to his community as an Imam and a loving father" and was a "British citizen who loved the people of his country".

His son Murhaf Arwani said the family had received hundreds of messages "from individuals testifying to how (Abdulhadi Arwani) had helped them personally".

My father was actively involved in the fight against extremism, campaigning for peace and advocating the importance of democracy and freedom. He loved the idea of freedom for all, regardless of religion, race and background.

He spoke up and out against the crime of terror and oppression wherever he found it. He was an advocate of peace for all and he showed us this in the way he lived his life from day to day.

– Murhaf Arwani and family

The Arwani family said they and the local community were "helping the police to solve this heinous crime" and urged anyone with information to contact counter-terrorism detectives.

Families of teen boys who travelled to Syria 'devastated'

The "devastated" families of two 17-year-old boys who are believed to have travelled to Syria said the teenagers are "ordinary Yorkshire lads".

The boys are believed to have travelled to Syria via a Thomas Cook flight to Turkey. Credit: PA

The statement said: "Both families are devastated by the events of the last few days and in particular, we are extremely concerned about the safety and well-being of our loved ones.

"These were just two ordinary Yorkshire lads who enjoyed the things that all young people enjoy at their age – both Hassan and Talha had a promising future as an apprentice and an A level student respectively, and we are praying they will be back with us soon and are able to realise that future."

Thomas Cook: 'We cannot confirm passenger names'

Thomas Cook Airlines has said that it "cannot confirm" the names of passengers that have travelled with the firm amid reports of two 17-year-old boys from Dewsbury who are believed to have travelled to Syria via one of the company's flights to Turkey.

Thomas Cook: 'We cannot confirm passenger names'. Credit: PA

"Whilst we cannot confirm the names of any of our passengers who travel with us, we can reassure all our customers that we work closely with all authorities to ensure the safety of our flights in and out of the UK," a spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines said.

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