Four arrested in relation to Syria as nationwide raids continue

Police said they were searching a number of properties, including this one in the Levenshulme area of Manchester. (Image: BBC)

Three men and a woman were arrested yesterday on suspicion of terrorism offences related to Syria as raids across Britain continue.

Two men aged 29 and 18 from Levenshulme in Manchester, a 21-year-old woman from Trafford and a 29-year-old man from Oxford are in custody.

They are being quizzed in Manchester on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

A number of properties are currently being searched.

One of the men arrested in Manchester is the brother of Mohammed Azzam Javeed, who is missing in Syria.

Javeed travelled to Syria last autumn and has not been heard of since.

Many Britons have left to join the rebels in the fight against Bashar Al Assad.
Many Britons have left to join the rebels in the fight against Bashar Al Assad.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter-Terrorism Unit (NWCTU), said the arrests were not linked to any imminent threat.

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He said the operation had been ongoing since 2013. He said: “Since we first became aware of a number of individuals travelling from the North West to the battlefields of Syria.

“Like other major cities across the UK we have been aware for some time of people travelling to war-torn places for terrorism-related purposes.

“This is not a problem unique to Manchester or the North West – it is an issue that affects different communities across the country and elsewhere.

“We look at every case on its own merits, but travelling to a warzone in order to be involved in conflict, or supporting those who do so, could make you potentially liable to prosecution for terrorism offences.

“Also, as well as posing a risk to themselves, there is the very real threat that they could pose a danger to our own communities when they return to the UK.”

Syria related arrests

Former Guantanamo detainee and director of advocacy group CAGE, Moazzam Begg and Gerrie Tahari, 44, were arrested on Tuesday 25 February.

Outreach Director of CAGE, Moazzam Begg
Outreach Director of CAGE, Moazzam Begg

20-year-old student, Mouloud Tahari, from Ashway in Sparkhill was also arrested and accused of being concerned in a terrorist funding arrangement between 31 December 2011 and 6 November 2013.

Mr Begg, 45, from Hall Green, Birmingham, was charged under Section 6 and Section 17 of Terrorism Act, providing training and fundraising in relation to Syria.

Mrs Tahari is charged with facilitating terrorism overseas.

All three remain in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on Friday 14 March.

Eight people were arrested last week by police investigating fraudulent use of funds from four charities based in the UK.

The men were arrested after raids in Derby, Harlow in Essex, east and south-east London, and Dewsbury and Huddersfield in West Yorkshire on March 5.

Kent Police said it followed the seizure of US Dollars, Euros, and pound sterling worth more than £450,00 at the Port of Dover in December. The charities are linked to Syrian aid organisations.

Det Chief Supt Chris Hogben of Kent Police said the arrests were part of an ongoing investigation. “Our investigation aims to ensure the funds given by the public reach their intended destination and are not used in connection with criminal activity,” he said.

“We will continue to ensure any large quantities of cash being transported through Kent’s ports is checked against its purpose.”


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