Waheed Ahmed: ‘Syria-bound’ councillor’s son on way home

Waheed Ahmed
Waheed Ahmed being led into Antalya coach station

A Labour councillor’s son, held in Turkey on suspicion of trying to enter Syria illegally is on his way home to the UK.

Waheed Ahmed has been detained along with eight other Britons in Hatay near the Syrian border since Wednesday, 1 April.

Footage released on Sunday shows him being put on a coach to Antalya, which is 509 miles west of Hatay.

The group of nine from Rochdale included five adults and four children.

His father, Rochdale Labour councillor Shakil Ahmed, said he “wanted his son to come home as soon as possible”.

Simon Danczuk the MP for Rochdale has confirmed that Mr Ahmed is being deported back to the UK on Sunday night.

Waheed Ahmed
Waheed Ahmed walking out of Antakya police station in Hatay, Turkey

In footage released by Reuters, Mr Ahmed is seen leaving a police station in Hatay.

He is then filmed getting on a coach to Antalya from where it is believed he will fly to the UK.

Map of Antakya Antalya
Antakya bus station
Waheed Ahmed is filmed getting on a coach at Antakya bus station

Greater Manchester Police and the North West Counter Terrorism force have launched an investigation to establish why the group apparently tried to enter Syria.

All nine would be sent back to the UK “in due course”, police said.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett has said that the primary concern was the “safety and welfare” of the children, and efforts were being made to ensure a “full safeguarding strategy” was in place upon their return.

Police have been searching his family home in Rochdale.

Search of Shakil Ahmed's house in Rochdale
Police have been searching Waheed Ahmed’s family home in Rochdale

His father said he had thought his son was on holiday.

In a statement the Councillor Shakil Ahmed said: “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 of being radicalised, I would have reported him to the authorities.

“He’s studying a degree in politics and sociology at Manchester University and has a good future ahead of him.”

The councillor also said that he had thought his son was in Birmingham on a work placement.



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