British family of 12 ‘may have gone to Syria’

A British family of 12, including two grandparents with health problems and a baby, are feared to have travelled to Syria.

The group from Luton were reported missing when they failed to return home from a holiday in Bangladesh.

Relatives said the disappearance does not make any sense, adding that they “can only think they have been tricked”.

Bedfordshire Police named those who are missing as: Muhammed Abdul Mannan, 75; his wife Minera Khatun, 53; their daughter Rajia Khanom, 21; sons Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25, Mohammed Toufique Hussain, 19, and Mohammed Abil Kashem Saker, 31; his wife Sheida Khanam, 27; Mohammed Saleh Hussain, 26, and his wife Roshanara Begum, 24; along with three children, aged one to 11.

Mannan was described as “frail” and reportedly suffers from diabetes, while his wife is understood to have cancer.

In a statement, relatives

said: “We are devastated by the disappearance of these 12 and are very concerned for their safety. This is completely out of character and we are very worried of the danger they may now be in.

“Muhammed Abdul Mannan is elderly and both he and Minera Khatun have health issues. This just does not make any sense. We can only think they have been tricked into going there, it is no place for elderly or young people. We would urge any of them to please make contact with us or the police to let us know they are OK.”

The party initially travelled to Bangladesh from Heathrow via Istanbul on April 10, before flying back to the Turkish city on May 11.

They were due to come back to London three days later but failed to return and were reported missing by a relative on May 17.

A police spokeswoman said: “There is a suggestion that the family may have gone to Syria, however police have so far been unable to corroborate that information.

“Police are continuing with their inquiries and are working with relatives who are still in the UK.”

Community leader Ashuk Ahmed said he had known the family for around 30 years. He said there were suggestions within the community a woman in the group might have been “radicalised”.

Ahmed told the Press Association: “The family was under the impression they were travelling to Bangladesh. It was planned as a genuine family visit.”


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