The Scotland Yard fears that the three missing London schoolgirls might be headed to Syria via Turkey to join the terrorist group the Islamic State. They now have reasons to believe that the girls in question, who went to Gatwick airport, outside of London, Tuesday after lying to their parents about their day plans, were planning to join the ISIs.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and an unnamed 15-year-old, all from London’s Bethnal Green Academy, flew during their midterm break from London’s Gatwick Airport to Istanbul on Tuesday, tells the London Metro Police as everyone known to them has been making frantic appeals over the social sites in a bid to to persuade them to return home before they cross the border.
The third girl, whose name has not been confirmed, is believed to be Shamima. She is possibly traveling under the name of Aklima Begum, police said.
All the three girls were seen in a video clipping from the airport surveillance video. They are friends with a fourth student and together, they had all gone to Syria in December.
Police commander Richard Walton, of Scotland Yard’s counter terrorism unit, said the three — described as “straight-A students” and “normal girls” — were last seen Tuesday after they had given their respective families reasons enough to explain that they would be out for the day.
After that, they boarded a Turkish Airlines flight, which landed in Turkey that evening.
“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,” Walton said.
The police hope to be able to bring the girls safely back home if traced while they are stuck in Turkey. The authorities have been worried about the large number of girls and boys leaving or intending to travel to the part of Syria controlled by the obnoxious militant group linked to gruesome beheadings in the recent past.