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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Family of 12 thought to have travelled to Syria to join Islamic state group

The group was reported missing after they failed to return from a holiday to Bangladesh.

A FAMILY OF 12 are believed to have travelled from the United Kingdom to Syria to join the Islamic state group.

In a statement sent to the BBC, a supposed member of the jihadist group claims that the family, who are originally from Luton in the south of the UK, are safe and have travelled to the region of their own free will.

The news organisation has stated that it is unable to establish the veracity of the statement.

The family has been missing since 17 May and Bedfordshire Police has previously said that it believed the group may have travelled to the region.

The statement from the group says: “We say to those that are concerned for our safety to put your hearts at rest for we feel safer than we have ever felt before.

“We call all Muslims to rush to the comand of your Khalife. Race to your state. Race to what will give you honour in this life and the hereafter.”

The family members thought to have travelled are made up of three generations – with the oldest being 75-year-old Muhammed Abdul Mannan who has a travelled along with his wife Minera Khatun, 53. They have been accompanied by a number of their children, and also three children, aged between one and 11.

The group had initially travelled to Bangladesh from Heathrow via Istanbul on 10 April.

It is known that they flew back to Istanbul on 11 May and were due to continue on a return flight to Heathrow on 14 May.

However, they failed to make it onto this flight and a relative in Luton subsequently reported them missing.

An earlier statement issued on behalf of their UK-based family members said:

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.

Read: British actor explains why he left his Hollywood home to fight ISIS in Syria

Also: This 17-year-old became ‘Britain’s youngest suicide bomber’ yesterday

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