Dewsbury teen flees country to Syria

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A relative of a convicted extremist and his young friend have fled Dewsbury to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, according to reports.

he teenager, who according to The Times, is a relative of Hammaad Munshi, who was 15 and Britain’s youngest convicted extremist when he was arrested by counter terrorism police in 2006.

We are extremely concerned for the safety of these two boys and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom of West Yorkshire Police

According to reports the relative and his friend have been missing for several days and their families contacted the authorities after becoming concerned. The Times says searches for the pair had focused on the Turkish side of the Syrian border, but they are now believed to be in Syrian territory.

Hammaad Munshi, of Greenwood Street, Savile Town, was just 15 when he discussed jihad online. Munshi should have been revising for his GCSEs at Westborough High School in Dewsbury when he began downloading notes on manufacturing deadly napalm instead.

He hid notes under his bed expressing his burning desire to go abroad to kill in the name of Islam.

He was found guilty in 2008 when he was 18 and sentenced to two years in a young offender institution.

Today the North East Counter Terrorism Unit confirmed that two 17-year-old boys had left Dewsbury and were believed to have travelled to Syria.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We are extremely concerned for the safety of these two boys and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to us.

“Our priority is for their safe return; their families are gravely worried about them and want them home.”

The boys were last seen by their families early on Tuesday March 31 and are believed to have boarded a Thomas Cook flight at Manchester Airport later that day to Dalaman in Turkey.

Mr Milsom said: “Syria is an extremely dangerous place and the public will be aware of the dangers these boys may face. The choice of returning home from Syria is often taken away from those that come under the control of Islamic State, leaving their families in the UK devastated and with very few options to secure their safe return.

“Anyone who is concerned that a friend, family or relative may be contemplating travelling to Syria can discuss with the local police or local authorities safeguarding units either by contacting 101 or attending their local neighbourhood Policing teams.”

He added: “This is not about criminalising people. It is about preventing tragedies by offering support to communities, families, young and vulnerable people.”

Kirklees Council chief executive Adrian Lythgo said: “We are deeply concerned for these young people and will continue to work in close partnership with the Counter Terrorism Unit, West Yorkshire Police, our communities and schools to prevent and eradicate any threats and concerns.

“We need to talk openly about these risks that are posed to our young people, and to work together to protect them. Communities and families can contact police about anyone they feel may be vulnerable. This includes anyone who is showing signs of becoming radicalised, who may have returned to the UK from Syria or may be planning to go to Syria or another conflict zone.”