Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Britain | schoolgirls | Turkey | Syria

British Search for Schoolgirls on Way to Join ISIS

By    |   Friday, 20 February 2015 01:39 PM

British police have issued an urgent appeal for the return of three schoolgirls who are believed to be traveling to Syria through Turkey to join the Islamic State, ABC News reported.

The girls, ages 15 and 16, left their homes on Tuesday and met at an airport in London where they boarded a Turkish Airlines flight, a police press release said.

"We are reaching out to the girls using the Turkish media and social media," Britain's Counter-Terrorism Commander Richard Walton said, according to ABC News, "in the hope that they 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."

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He added: "We think there is a chance that we can get these three girls back if they have not already traveled into Syria."

Walton also warned that the growing number of women who are fleeing to Syria risk a life of confinement.

"It is an extremely dangerous place and we have seen reports of what life is like for them and how restricted their lives become," Walton said at a news conference, according to Bloomberg News.

"It is not uncommon for girls or women to be prevented from being allowed out of their houses or, if allowed out, only when accompanied by a guardian."

Hundreds of British men and women have traveled to join the Islamic State to fight since the conflict began, according to Bloomberg, but the increase in the number of young girls traveling to Syria and Iraq has become a problem in its own right.

"Fighters include people not only picking up a gun, but also going to support Islamists, in some way, including young women who have been attracted to the fight for various reasons and, in some cases, children," Ambassador Thomas Krajeski, the U.S. Senior Adviser for Foreign Fighters, said during a news briefing, according to ABC.

He said that the possibility of fighters returning home to conduct attacks is of "great concern."

Krajeski also noted that a significant part of the problem lies in controlling the Turkish-Syrian border.

"This is a very difficult border to police," he said, according to ABC. "The most effective way to do it is to provide border officials with the best possible information.  I believe Turks are committed to increasing checks and controls of incoming travelers and border controls."

Special: ISIS: Everything you need to know about the rise of the militant group — Click Here

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British police have issued an urgent appeal for the return of three schoolgirls who are believed to be traveling to Syria through Turkey to join the Islamic State, ABC News reported.
Britain, schoolgirls, Turkey, Syria
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2015-39-20
Friday, 20 February 2015 01:39 PM
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