Khalid Mahmood
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'Up to 1,500' Brits involved in conflict

A Birmingham MP believes many more Britons could have joined Muslim extremist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq than official government figures suggest.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Perry Barr, said as many as 1,500 young Britons could have travelled to the Middle East to fight in the conflict, over the last three years.

Official figures put the number at about 500.

Mr Mahmood said he based his "conservative" estimate on the size of the Syrian, Kurdish, South East Asian and North and East African communities in Britain.

He said even a small number of those would represent a "significant" security risk to the UK.

Mr Mahmood said he was aware of two young men from Birmingham City University who had travelled to Syria within six months of someone making contact with them.

He called on families to work with police and security services to cut down those taking part in conflicts overseas.