- Counterterrorism police boss warns over number of radicalised families
- Mark Rowley said parents had tried to take teenagers to Syria to join ISIS
- Last week couple arrested over trying to fly their five children to Syria
- More than 700 people from UK have gone to fight for terror groups
Children are being removed from families and taken into care over fears their radicalised parents plan to carry out terror attacks.
Mark Rowley, head of national counter terrorism policing, said up to 50 radicalised families have been taken to court since last year.
The police boss said parents had tried to take teenagers and even young children to Syria to join ISIS and other terror groups.
Last week a couple were arrested on suspicion of attempting to fly their five children to Syria from Luton airport.
Since 2004, more than 700 British people have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
Rowley told The Sunday Times: 'The most extreme cases that end up . . . with children being made wards of courts or care proceedings is real tricky stuff because we've never had to deal with national security issues before in a family court . . . We had never done [a case] before 2015 but . . . the fact that it's [now] into 40 or 50 cases is illustrative of the scale of the problem.
'Now we're seeing young children and teenagers who have been influenced by propaganda and who need support. Sometimes, frankly, their parents are part of the problem and sometimes it's happening despite their parents' best efforts — there's both types of examples out there.'
Around 50 young people are investigated by Scotland Yard a month over fears they are being radicalised.
Rowley said teachers and social workers were now more proactive in informing police of concerns they had.
He commented on the 'awful' case of the London teenagers Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana, and Shamima Begum, who flew to join Syrian extremists last year.
The girls, from Tower Hamlets, kept the plans secret from their parents and told them they were going out for the day before they fled on the flight to Turkey.
Scotland Yard has a team of 400 detectives, language and computer experts who work proactively to stop vulnerable children being radicalised.
Police launched the National Digital Exploitation Service last month to track terrorist groups targeting children.
Rowley, who is tipped to apply to be Metropolitan Police commissioner, said the force seizes around 700 devices, like laptops and smartphones, used to publish terrorist plans and propaganda, a month.
Last week police bosses said 10 plots to carry out terrorist attacks had been stopped in the past two years and that 550 'live' cases are being followed.