A 15-year-old girl has been reportedly stopped from joining the conflict in Syria after counter-terror officers stopped the plane she was on as it was taxiing down the runway at Heathrow.
The girl, from Tower Hamlets in east London, had bought a ticket to Istanbul in Turkey without her parents’ knowledge, the Evening Standard reported.
Scotland Yard declined to comment in detail on the case but confirmed that a “missing person inquiry” had been resolved. A Met Police spokeswoman said: “On Saturday December 6, police received reports of a 15-year-old girl from Tower Hamlets missing from home. Officers were able to locate her and she has since returned home safely.” The girl has since returned to her family but another girl, also 15, reportedly departed before police could intervene.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre raised the threat level in August against a backdrop of increasing concerns over hundreds of aspiring British jihadis travelling to Iraq and Syria to learn terrorist ‘’tradecraft’’.
Fears of a terrorist attack on Britain’s streets have heightened in the wake of the rise of Islamic State (IS), the extremist group that has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria and attracted thousands of foreign jihadists to its cause, including more than 500 Britons.
A new Counter-terrorism and Security Bill, containing a range of powers including new orders that can block suspected British fighters from returning to the UK, was introduced to Parliament last month.