LONDON- Britons traveling to Syria to help the rebels fighting President Bashar Assad could be arrested on their return, a senior police chief warned on Saturday, saying they may pose a security risk to the UK.
Peter Fahy, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said there was "huge concern" about Britons, including a rising number of youngsters, fighting in Syria and becoming radicalized by hardline Islamists.
British police have already arrested 16 people on suspicion of terrorism offenses in Syria this year, some as young as 17, compared to 24 arrests in all of 2013.
Fahy told BBC Radio there was "a real worry about those who may be radicalized, who may have been engaged in terrorist training".
"We stopped quite a number of people because we're very, very clear about what will happen," Fahy said.
Most of the Britons involved in attacks in the UK, including the four suicide bombers who committed the 2005 London bombings that killed 52 people, as well as their co-conspirators, were reported to have received training in camps in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.