Exclusive: Paul Erdal is first Briton to face terror charges related to family member joining Kurdish-led group

The father of a British man volunteering with the Kurdish-led YPG forces in Syria fighting Islamic State has been arrested and charged with terrorism offences in the first such case in the UK.

Police arrived at the Solihull home of Paul Erdal, 49, on 11 December with a warrant and proceeded to search his flat and seize laptops and mobile phones. Erdal was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning, along with his 18-year-old son Sam, who was also threatened with arrest.

The pair were questioned for 13 hours about Erdal’s elder son Dan Newey, 27, who left the UK in 2017 and travelled to north-eastern Syria to join the YPG (People’s Protection Units) – a Kurdish-led force supported by western countries in the five-year battle against Isis. Newey returned to Syria in October, after Turkey launched an attack on the YPG.

Erdal was charged with support for terrorism and material support for terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, held for four days and released on bail. A court date has not yet been set.

Police also visited the Nuneaton home of Newey’s mother, Vikki, on 11 December, without a warrant, and told her she would be arrested if she did not voluntarily attend a police station for questioning. She was interviewed for around 12 hours before being released.

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