A community leader in Luton believes a local family thought to have fled to Syria may have been "radicalised".
Ashuk Ahmed, who has known the family for around 30 years, said there were suggestions within the community that a woman in the group might have come under external influences. Police have not commented on the claims.
Mr Ahmed said: "The family was under the impression they were travelling to Bangladesh. It was planned as a genuine family visit.
"When they didn't turn up in the UK (other) family members raised the alarm. They were told they may have crossed into Syria.
"The community is in shock. The boys were all running successful businesses."
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