Waheed Ahmed: Labour councillor's son arrested for 'attempting to reach Syria' returns to UK

Ahmed had been detained in Turkey with eight of his relatives, including four children

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The Independent Online

Waheed Ahmed, the son of a Rochdale Labour councillor who was arrested for apparently attempting to cross the border from Turkey into Syria, has returned to the UK.

The 21-year-old and eight of his relatives were detained in Turkey earlier this month as on suspicion of trying to cross into the war-torn country.

Greater Manchester Police said that in the early hours of Tuesday morning “a 21-year-old was arrested” at Birmingham Airport on suspicion of terrorism, which is reported to have been Waheed.

Late yesterday a 31-year-old man was arrested in Rochdale for the same offence.

Police said they are working to ensure the safe return of the rest of the group, which included four children aged one, three, eight and 11. Two women aged 47 and 22, and three men aged 24, 22, and 21 are understood to have been part of the group.

One of the Britons detained for allegedly trying to cross into Syria leaving hospital in Turkey earlier this month

Detained British people leave an hospital after they undergo medical check up and fingerprinting in Hatay southern of Turkey

Detained Britons leave an hospital after they undergo medical check up and fingerprinting in Hatay, southern Turkey

Simon Danczuk MP, a Labour candidate defending the Rochdale seat in the upcoming election, said on Sunday that he had been told by the Foreign Office that Ahmed would be arriving back in the UK at Birmingham airport, though the Foreign Office said it did not comment on individual cases.

Labour councillor Shakil Ahmed said he had believed his son had been in Birmingham on a work placement when he discovered Waheed had been detained in Turkey.

He said he was “shocked, worried and extremely upset” to hear that his son had been arrested on the Syria-Turkey border, adding that it was a “total mystery” as to why his son was there.

Police outside the home of Labour councillor Shakil Ahmed whose son is one of nine Britons detained in Turkey on suspicion of trying to cross the border into Syria.

“My son is a good Muslim and his loyalties belong to Britain, so I don’t understand what he’s doing there. If I thought for a second that he was in danger or being radicalised, I would have reported him to the authorities,” he said at the time.

Police searched the councillor’s home after Waheed’s arrest in Turkey, but Greater Manchester police said it had uncovered “no evidence whatsoever” of any imminent threat to Rochdale.

Ahmed, who represents the Kingsway ward on Rochdale Borough Council, said his son had been studying a degree in politics and sociology at Manchester University, adding that he had a good future ahead of him.