British police are in a race against time to bring home three school girls who are believed to be on their way to syria to join the Islamic State. They reportedly left home early Tuesday morning, telling their parents they would be gone for the day, and boarded a flight to Turkey.
The girls’ parents alerted authorities when they realized what had happened, and British police believe the girls have not yet crossed the border into syria.
Police identified the girls as 15-year-old Shamima Begum, 16-year-old Kadiza Sultana, and did not identify the third girl at the request of her parents.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and an unidentified 15-year-old girl are believed to have left the U.K. to join the Islamic state. (Image credit: Metropolitan Police via the U.K. Guardian)
“Clearly if these three girls travel to Syria, they’re in grave danger,” Britain’s Counter-Terrorism Commander Richard Walton said. “You know the prospect is not good and we want to prevent them from getting there.”
The U.K. Telegraph reports that all three girls are students at Bethnal Green Academy in east London, and Walton described them as “straight A students” and “normal girls.”
An unidentified 15-year-old girl traveling with two others was pictured at Gatwick airport Feb. 17, reportedly on her way to join the Islamic state. (Image credit: The Metropolitan Police via ABC News)
“If we are able to locate these girls while they are in Turkey, there is a possibility we can bring them home to their families,” Walton said. “We are reaching out to the girls using the Turkish media and social media in the hope that Shamima, Kadiza and their friend hear our messages, hear our concerns for their safety and have the courage to return now, back to their families who are so worried about them.”
He added that the girls’ families are “devastated.”
—Courtesy of TheBlaze