Thursday 14 December 2017

Missing schoolgirls taken from Turkey into Syria by people smugglers four days ago

Handout still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) 15-year-old Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana,16 and Shamima Begum,15 at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey on Tuesday (Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)
Handout still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) 15-year-old Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana,16 and Shamima Begum,15 at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey on Tuesday (Metropolitan Police/PA Wire)
British teenage girls Shamima Begun, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana (left to right), walk through security at Gatwick airport before they boarded a flight to Turkey
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Three schoolgirls who travelled from their homes in London to Turkey were brought to Syria by people smugglers up to five days ago, it has been reported.

BBC News say they understand the three teenage girls were smuggled into Syria four or five days ago.

British teenage girls Shamima Begun, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana (left to right), walk through security at Gatwick airport before they boarded a flight to Turkey
British teenage girls Shamima Begun, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana (left to right), walk through security at Gatwick airport before they boarded a flight to Turkey
Undated handout comp of photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Kadiza Sultana 16, Amira Abase 15 and Shamima Begum 15, they are feared to have travelled to Syria via Turkey

They crossed the Syrian border some two to three days after landing in Istanbul.

The BBC reports emerge as police in London say they believe the three girls are now in Syria. It's feared they are trying to join militant Sunni Islamist group Islamic State.

Friends Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew to Istanbul from London on Feb. 17.

"Officers ... leading the investigation into the three missing schoolgirls from east London, now have reason to believe that they are no longer in Turkey and have crossed into Syria," police said in a statement.

They gave no further details but said they continued to work closely with Turkish authorities on the investigation.

The girls' plight has prompted widespread concern in Britain, with Prime Minister David Cameron urging social media firms to do more to deal with online extremism saying the girls appeared to have been radicalised "in their bedrooms".

He also said airlines needed new systems to vet children travelling alone.

Read more here: Strikes have killed 1,600 Isil jihadis, says report

Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, who had fled to Syria, holds her sister's photo. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire
Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, who had fled to Syria, holds her sister's photo. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire
The famiiles of Amira Abase and Shamima Begum - who are believed to have fled to Syria with Kadiza Sultana - after being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire
Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, who fled to Syria, holds her sister's photo. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire
Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, 15, who has fled to Syria, holds a bear that Amira gave her mother. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire
Abase Hussen, father of Amira Abase, 15, who had fled to Syria. Photo: Laura Lean/PA Wire

Reuters

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