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Met launches counter terrorism campaign after teenagers bailed over 'terror' trip

Credit: PA

They went missing on Friday but before the weekend was over 3 teenagers who were reportedly heading to Syria to fight with the group calling itself IS, were arrested, returned to London and being questioned on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. They have now been released on bail and 3 days after they set off are back with their families in North London

The speed in which the Metropolitan Police acted in alerting the Turkish authorities is being hailed as the perfect example of how effective the authorities can be in stopping young people who are trying to get to Syria.

A contrast is now being made between what happened this weekend and the case of the three girls who fled to Syria last month

Two 15 year olds, Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana who is 16 left their London homes and took flights to Istanbul from there it's reported they travelled to join Islamic State militants in Syria.

Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum, and Amira Abase flew to Turkey Credit: Met Police

Their case led to criticism from the girls parents who accused the Met of not doing enough to alert them that their daughters were in danger of being groomed by another of their friends who had already made the same journey. The Met also stands accused of not acting quickly enough to alert Turkish authorities about their disappearance.

The discussion comes on the same day as the National Police Counter Terrorism Network and it's partners roll out the next phase of an awareness raising campaign designed to reach out to families, to play their part in preventing young people travelling to Syria.

Leaflets will be handed out by police to help prevent young people travelling to Syria Credit: Met Police

Radio and Press advertisements in media aimed at the relevant ethnic minorities will spell out the warning signs families should look out for, especially among girls.

22 women and girls have been reported missing to police by families who feared they have travelled to Syria in the last year.

The campaign recognises that it is mothers who often spot changes in behaviour or the tell-tale signs that someone may be thinking about travelling to a conflict that millions of others are desperate to escape.

This advertising campaign is part of our sustained efforts to continue to raise awareness around this very serious issue.

We all know rebelling is part of being a teenager. Growing up involves breaking down the barriers, kicking out against the rules and discovering where you stand politically.

The difficulty for parents, police, schools and the wider community is spotting when this teenage ideology crosses the line from being politically aware to drawing a young person to a war zone.

– Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball

More on this story

  • Syria bound trio bailed by Met

    Three males arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts have been bailed. They were detained as they tried to travel to Syria.