UK man arrested on suspicion of preparing to join ISIS in Syria

UK police launch campaign to fight ISIS recruitment
UK police launch campaign to fight ISIS recruitment

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Story highlights

  • Metropolitan Police announce a media campaign to deter young people from traveling to Syria
  • The Birmingham man, 18, was detained at his home in a preplanned operation, they say
  • Police said there was "no immediate threat to public safety"

London (CNN)An 18-year-old British man has been arrested on suspicion of preparing to join ISIS in Syria, UK police say.

Counterterrorism officers arrested the man at his home in Hodge Hill, in the city of Birmingham, early Monday, West Midlands police said.
    "The operation was pre-planned and intelligence led. There was no immediate threat to public safety," they said in a statement.
    The arrest follows that of three teenagers from northwest London on Sunday after they were intercepted by Turkish police in Istanbul.
    The two 17-year-old boys and a 19-year-old man were arrested "on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts," the Metropolitan Police said. They have since been released on bail.
    The investigation started Friday, after police learned the two 17-year-olds were missing and were believed to be traveling to Syria. They were traveling with a 19-year-old, police said.
    British authorities shared intelligence regarding the 17-year-olds with Turkish officials Friday, and that night, they landed in Istanbul on a flight from Barcelona, Spain, a Turkish official told CNN.
    The teens were stopped with another person seen as suspicious by Turkish intelligence at the airport's risk analysis center, which monitors risky flights and runs checks on suspicious passengers trying to enter Turkey.
    Turkish authorities questioned the teens, the Turkish official said, and the Metropolitan Police said the three returned to London shortly before midnight Saturday and were arrested.
    Last week, Turkish authorities said they had arrested a person -- working for an undisclosed nation's intelligence service -- on suspicion of helping three British girls who are thought to have entered Syria to join ISIS.
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    British police say they think the three east London classmates -- Shamima Begum, 15; Kadiza Sultana, 16; and Amira Abase, 15 -- traveled to Syria after flying from London to Istanbul on February 17.
    Metropolitan Police on Monday announced a new media campaign to deter young people from traveling to Syria.
    Radio and press advertisements highlighting the influence a mother could have on her daughters would be placed in ethnic minority media, police said. The campaign said that it was mothers who often noticed changes in behavior that could signal an intention to travel to Syria, they said.
    There was increasing concern about the number of women traveling to Syria, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said.
    "It is an extremely dangerous place, and the reality of the lifestyle they are greeted with when they arrive is far from that promoted online by terrorist groups," she said.
    "The option of returning home is often taken away from them, leaving families at home devastated and with very few options to secure a safe return for their loved one," Ball said.