Three teenagers arrested on suspicion of trying to join a terrorist group after being detained in Turkey will not face charges, London police have announced.
The males, two aged 17 and one 19, from northwest London, were reported missing in March amid fears they were planning to travel to Syria. They were stopped by Turkish officials and arrested on their return to the U.K. The teenagers, who have not been named, were bailed while police carried out further inquiries. Scotland Yard said they were all released without charge on Monday, June 8.
The teens had reportedly had flown to Istanbul from Barcelona. They were all detained at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Their arrests came weeks after an international police hunt was launched to find three London schoolgirls who traveled to Istanbul on their journey to Syria. Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 – all from east London – flew to Istanbul in February from where it is known they traveled to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria.Britain had already become the target of accusations following its failure to spot the girls. Turkish officials, who have requested more support from the West at every opportunity, are counting on more solid steps to stem the flow of foreign fighters. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had previously said one of the main problems is that individuals who are deported from Turkey keep returning, and highlighted the refusal of some countries to take the issue seriously.
As part of Turkey's efforts, the police force has tightened security at transfer points such as airports, terminals, bus stations and rental car companies with a special risk analysis system, and a team tasked with tracking suspicious foreigners who travel to Turkey for the first time and those who are minors and have no hotel reservation.
Those deported from Turkey were of different origins varying in age from 15-35. The suspected foreigners claimed that the purpose of their visit was work, tourism or visiting friends or relatives, but security forces who had suspicions about the possibility of them joining ISIS sent them back to the countries where they had traveled from.