Zahera Tariq: Walthamstow family feared to be heading to Syria detained in Turkey

The woman left the UK with her children from London City airport

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The Independent Online

A mother feared to have been heading to war-torn Syria with her four children has been detained in Turkey.

Counter-terrorism officers launched an appeal for information after Zahera Tariq, 33, and her children, aged between four and 12, were last seen at her home address in Walthamstow, east London, in late August.

The operation came after a relative contacted the police to report they were missing.

The Turkish authorities alerted Scotland Yard on Tuesday that the mother and her four children had been detained in the country. Police said they were all “safe and well”.

Officials believe they had travelled to Amsterdam from London City Airport on Tuesday, after detectives found the family had been captured on CCTV at the facility.

The Met Police said in a statement: "Officers were concerned that the woman had been considering travelling to Syria with her four children.

It went on: “Officers are liaising with the Turkish authorities and inquiries continue.”

Commander Richard Walton, from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command, thanked police counterparts in Turkey and the Netherlands, members of the public, and the media for helping with the appeal to track down the family.

The family's disappearance came after Scotland Yard recently confirmed that more than 40 women and girls are believed to have travelled to parts of Syria controlled by the so-called Islamic State from the UK in the last year.

The authorities are attempting to stop Britons from using Turkey as a key transit point into Syria, as hundreds of Britons have headed to the conflict zone, where the so-called Islamic State has its defacto capital, Raqqa.