Three British teenagers suspected of trying to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have arrived back in London, where they were released on bail late Sunday, after being deported from Turkey.
The teens were detained at Sabiha Gökçen Airport after a flight from Barcelona to Istanbul on Sunday, and were quickly deported to the U.K. The teens were then arrested in London.
Turkish intelligence officers from the police department spotted the trio identified as Gafur H, Muhammed N. and Muhammed Abdulla H.
Scotland Yard issued a statement Sunday saying the three males were arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts, but then were released on bail later in the day after being questioned for 24 hours.
"On Friday, March 13, officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command were made aware that two 17-year-old boys from north-west London had gone missing and were believed to be travelling to Syria," the statement said, adding that enquiries revealed that they had travelled with a third male aged 19.
Officers alerted the Turkish authorities, who were able to intercept all three males, preventing travel to Syria, it said, adding that enquiries continued.
The cooperation between the Turkish police and British police has intensified after three British girls Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, went missing from East London in early February and reportedly arrived in Turkey to cross into Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu commented on the issue of 'foreign fighters' on Monday during his visit to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh as part of his Asia-Pacific tour. He pointed to the importance of the timing of intelligence-sharing between Turkey and other countries, saying that the best solution for fighters to be stopped is to take necessary precautions before the fighters leave their home-country.
He said that, although intelligence sharing between Turkey and the home-countries of foreign fighters is better than it was three months ago, it still needs to improve. According to the Foreign Minister, even if foreign fighters cannot travel into Syria through Turkey, they will find another way into ISIS-controlled territory sooner or later, if they really put their minds into it. This is why necessary precautions need to be taken before the fighters leave their home-countries, according to the Minister.
The Turkish police intelligence group has monitored more than a thousand people arriving in Turkey this year, and sent nearly half of them back to their countries.