All members of a Rochdale family arrested under terrorism legislation have been released without charge and their property restored to them.
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that six people – a 21-year-old man arrested at Birmingham Airport, two women and two men aged between 22 and 47 held at Manchester Airport, plus a 30-year-old man arrested in the Rochdale area, have been released without charge.
Following their release the solicitors who are representing the family issued a brief statement which said: “It is important to remind all including the media and politicians that all people should be treated innocent until proven otherwise and be careful not to express negative comments prior to the completion of an investigation and or court process or else they risk stigmatising and demonising a family as well as potentially jeopardising people’s right to a fair trial.”
It’s understood that a university student from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, and eight of his relatives – including four children ranging from a one-year-old baby to an 11-year-old – were stopped on the Turkish border with Syria on April 1. They were arrested by Turkish police within walking distance of the border in the town of Reyhanli.
A police force statement read: “No evidence was uncovered to suggest any imminent threat to the communities of Rochdale or the UK.”
Greater Manchester Police and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit began an investigation after news of the arrests emerged. Five houses were searched as part of attempts to establish why the group apparently tried to enter Syria.