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Turkish police arrest British family en route to join 'Islamic State' in Syria

A mother and father from the UK reportedly attempted to travel to Syria to join "Islamic State." They have been detained, along with their four children, by Turkish authorities.

British officials tipped off Turkish authorities that the family was expected to cross the Syrian border, a Turkish official said on Tuesday.

"We received the intelligence from British police on April 19 that a British couple with four children may cross into Syria to join ISIS," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

However, British authorities have yet to clarify the reasons behind the allegations.

The family apparently made the trip by land, crossing into Turkey via its western border with Greece on April 16. The parents, Asif Malik, age 33, and Sara Malik, age 29, were traveling with four children, including a one-year-old.

"Turkish police tracked the couple and arrested them in a hotel in the Ostim district of Ankara 24 hours after Britain's notification," the official noted, adding, "The family, which is now being held by Ankara police, is expected to be deported by the end of this week."

Turkey has been criticized by Western allies for not doing enough to

prevent Europeans from crossing into Syria

to join the "Islamic State." However, in recent months, Turkish police have detained a number of suspected European jihadis, including

nine British citizens

on April 1.

Turkish authorities continue to call on European countries to share intelligence regarding Islamic State recruits from Europe.

ls/kms (AFP, dpa)

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