Police said they are investigating and that “there is a suggestion that the family may have gone to Syria”.
Bedfordshire police named the group as: Muhammed Abdul Mannan, 75, his wife Minera Khatun, 53, their daughter Rajia Khanom, 21, sons Mohammed Zayd Hussain, 25, Mohammed Toufique Hussain, 19 (pictured above), Mohammed Abil Kashem Saker, 31 (pictured below), his wife Sheida Khanam, 27, Mohammed Saleh Hussain, 26, and his wife Roshanara Begum, 24, along with three children, aged between one and 11.
They are thought to have stopped in Turkey, which borders Syria, after visiting Bangladesh.
In a statement, relatives of the family said they believed they had been tricked. They said: “We are devastated by the disappearance of these 12 and are very concerned for their safety.
“This is completely out of character and we are very worried of the danger they may now be in. Muhammed Abdul Mannan is elderly and both he and Minera Khatun have health issues.
“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.”
This view was repeated to Channel 4 News by friends of the family in Luton.
“The grandfather is a lovely man. Very elderly. He wouldn’t want to go to Syria.” Family friend in Luton tells me. pic.twitter.com/anmxWLJXjU