London mother and four children heading for Syria, say police – The Guardian

A missing mother and her four children are feared to be travelling from Britain to Syria, Scotland Yard has said. Police are trying to trace Zahera Tariq, 33, her sons Muhammad, 12, Amaar, 11, Aadid, 4, and daughter Safiyyah, 9, who were last seen at her home address in Walthamstow, east London, on Tuesday. The police believe they flew from London City airport to Amsterdam later the same day and may be on their way to Syria.

A group believed to be Zahera Tariq and her children at London City airport.


A group believed to be Zahera Tariq and her children at London City airport. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

A family member contacted police on Wednesday to report the family of five missing, and raised concerns they could be on their way to the conflict zone. Detectives later found that the family had been captured on CCTV at London City airport prior to their flight to the Netherlands. The children are pictured wearing rucksacks while their mother pushes a trolley loaded with four suitcases.

Commander Richard Walton, from the Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command, said relatives were extremely worried. “We’re concerned about Zahera and her four children and we’re doing all we can to work with our partners and colleagues both here and abroad to try and locate them and make sure they are all safe and well,” he said.

“Whilst we do have some concerns that Zahera may be thinking of travelling to Syria, there is no current information to suggest that she’s already travelled there. Her family are extremely worried about her and her three sons and daughter and we would urge anybody with information to contact us as soon as possible.”

Police are appealing for any information on the whereabouts of Tariq and her children. She is described as about 5ft 3in tall and of medium build with long, black hair.

Police believe Zahera Tariq is trying to get to Syria with her children.


Police believe Zahera Tariq is trying to get to Syria with her children. Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

Several cases have emerged in which women and children from the UK are thought to have left for parts of Syria controlled by Islamic State.

In July it was reported that several members of the same family from Luton, including three children, were believed to have travelled to Syria after a holiday in Bangladesh.

Scotland Yard recently confirmed that it believed more than 40 women and girls had travelled to Syria from Britain in the past year.