ISTANBUL (AP) -- Turkish police on Monday arrested a missing British couple with four children believed to have left England for Syria to join the Islamic State group, an official said.
Asif Malik and his partner, Sara Kiran, were arrested in Ankara and their four children were also taken into custody, the official said on condition of anonymity because of Turkish rules requiring prior authorization for comment.
The children range in age from 12 months to 7 years old. On Sunday, British police appealed for information about the family who haven't been in England since early April.
British authorities had said that there was no suggestion the family was doing any fighting in Syria, and it was unclear whether they were sympathetic to members of the Islamic State group or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But the Turkish official said that authorities believe the family was seeking to go to territory controlled by IS.
The official said that British authorities provided information to Turkish counterparts on Sunday and that police were able to track the family from the Greek border, where they crossed by bus on April 16. Turkish officials have recently praised cooperation with Britain on a stream of people traveling between the two countries en route to Syria.