Waheed Ahmed: 'Syria-bound' councillor's son back in UK

Waheed Ahmed Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Waheed Ahmed was seen preparing to leave Hatay on a coach

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

Waheed Ahmed, a Labour councillor's son, was held in Turkey on suspicion of trying to enter Syria illegally.

He was detained along with eight other Britons in Hatay near the Syrian border on 1 April. He has now returned to the UK after being deported from Turkey.

He is thought to have flown from Dalaman into Birmingham, where he was arrested by Greater Manchester Police.

The group of nine from Rochdale included five adults and four children.

Footage released on Sunday shows Mr Ahmed leaving a police station in Hatay before getting onto a coach to Antalya.

His father, Rochdale Labour councillor Shakil Ahmed, said he "wanted his son to come home as soon as possible".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In footage released by Reuters, Waheed Ahmed was seen leaving a police station in Hatay, Turkey
Image caption He was then filmed getting on a coach to Antalya

Greater Manchester Police and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit have launched an investigation to establish why the group apparently tried to enter Syria.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett has said the primary concern was the "safety and welfare" of the children, and efforts were being made to ensure a "full safeguarding strategy" was in place upon their return.

Police have been searching Mr Waheed's family home in Rochdale.

Image copyright Yunus Muller, BBC
Image caption Police have been searching Waheed Ahmed's family home in Rochdale

His father said he had thought his son was on holiday.

In a statement Councillor Shakil Ahmed said: "My son is a good Muslim and his loyalties belong to Britain, so I don't understand what he's doing there.

"If I thought for a second that he was in danger of being radicalised, I would have reported him to the authorities.

"He's studying a degree in politics and sociology at Manchester University and has a good future ahead of him."

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