Three teenage girls who voluntarily boarded a plane from Britain to Turkey and believed heading on to Syria, are being tracked by authorities who have serious concerns for their well-being. The girls who are 15 and 16 years of age, were recruited by ISIS, a deadly Islamic militant group.
The teenage girls left home last week, sending shockwaves through the family but also the US government and others. According to intelligence forces in Turkey, the girls may already have entered Syria. Shamima Begum 15, Amira Abase 15, and Kadiza Sultana 16, were recruited to become wives of ISIS fighters.
According to the latest reports, one of the teenage girls had been in touch with another young girl, Aqsa Mahmood, who in November fled her home in Scotland to go live with fighters of the terrorist group. Ultimately marrying a fighter, Mahmood persuaded the missing three girls to join her.
Mahmood’s parents and other family members are disgusted that Aqsa would do something so horrific. In a statement from the family attorney, she has disgraced her family but also the people of Scotland. He went on to say that her actions are a perverted distortion of what Islam is all about. The family urged Aqsa to prove her love to them by stopping her actions.
All three of the missing teenage girls were caught on security surveillance leaving UK’s Gatwick Airport with luggage in hand. The girls were all excellent students at London’s Bethnal Green Academy and loving family members. However, new reports say the girls were in a car with a Syrian male and all three were using identity cards from Syria.
An intelligence source in Turkey confirmed that after arriving in his country, the teenagers met up with a member of ISIS known for assisting foreigners interested in joining the terrorist group. It has also been reported that their primary goal was to become jihadi brides.
A commander with the Metropolitan Police said that if the girls were traveling unaccompanied into Turkey and law enforcement officials had been notified by border or airline authorities, intervention would have been possible. Unfortunately, officials were never made aware that the three girls were heading to Turkey in an effort to reach Syria.
As imagined, the families of all three girls are heartbroken and scared for their lives. Each has reached out to the media, begging the girls to recognize the imminent danger and return home. This has also created quite a stir in the United States and other countries as parents realize just how easily how girls are being influenced by a deadly radical group of terrorists.
Mark Keary, principal of the school where the missing teens attended said this issue is intentional and sadly, something increasing in severity. The fact that three girls of such a young age could get on a plane without an adult and make their way to a worn-torn country has sparked heated debates that officers could have intervened much sooner. The incident has also raised questions of warning signs having been missed.