A family of seven from Bradford was revealed as missing on Tuesday, with police reporting they had travelled to Turkey raising concerns the group are en route to Syria. Parents Imran Ameen, 39, and Farzana Amee, 40, along with their five children, the youngest just 5-years-old, were last seen on 5th October.
According to West Yorkshire Police, the family is in Turkey, the main gateway to Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, which has been savaged by more than four years of civil war.
“We would urge anyone with information about the family’s whereabouts to come forward and speak to police so the family can safely return to the UK,” said Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster. “Any piece of information, no matter how small, could help the UK or overseas authorities to locate the family so that they can be safely returned home to their loved ones.”
Foster said British police were in touch with counterparts in Turkey, as well as members of the Ameen family, adding that his main concern was for the children.
More than 700 British nationals have travelled to Syria since the start of the civil war, the majority to join the Islamic State, which is fighting the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.
Earlier this year, sisters Khadija Dawood, 30, Sugra Dawood, 34, and Zohra Dawood, 33, also from Bradford, went missing after going on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia along with their nine children. Police believe they entered Syria to join the Islamic State group.
In February three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green were reported to have travelled to Syria via Turkey.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Dr Mohammed Iqbal, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association said: “For us as Bradfordians it’s worrying because people are going to start associating Bradford with radicalisation. We have to try to understand the size of the problem and counteract it. Communities have to wake up, families have to wake up.”