Three Denver Teenagers Trying To Join ISIS Were Apprehended & Sent Home By A German Airport
The FBI believes its stopped the latest would-be militants en route to Syria. Despite a growing number of Westerners joining the fight in Syria, these suspects still seem shocking: Three teenage girls from Colorado tried to join ISIS' ranks, apparently
Intelligence gathered by the FBI show that the girls were on their way to Syria and that their intention was to join the militant group. The FBI is unsure of how many or what kind of contacts their girls had in the country. They are currently trying to find out if the girls' have any other radicalized friends or acquaintances.
Over the weekend, two sisters of Somali descent, aged 15 and 17, and their 16-year-old friend of Sudanese descent, skipped school and boarded a plane. When the school notified the father of the 16-year-old, he found that her passport was missing. He notified the sisters' father, who also found that his daughters' passports along with $2,000 were missing. After the parents filed a report with the police, a flag was put out on the girls' passports.
The trio was stopped at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, detained, interrogated, and sent back home to Denver. They have been reunited with their families, who were shocked by the alleged plan and said that they had never had any trouble with the girls. A spokesman for the Somali family, only wanting to be identified as Asad, told local reporters:
They bought the ticket. That's what we think. We don't know for sure. That's why we don't want to come out and make a statement.
Because they are minors, it is unclear if the girls will face charges.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that he was grateful for Germany's participation in stopping the girls in Frankfurt.
It is under investigation now. Our folks are looking at the causes and impacts very carefully...this is an example of good cooperation between us, and the increased vigilance of law enforcement on this issue of the movement of people from one country to another. We are very, very grateful for Germany for their cooperation with us on this particular incident of young folks who were traveling.
This thwarted plan comes alongside a few instances when North Americans tried to join ISIS. In September, Colorado teen Shannon Conley pleaded guilty to charges of providing material support to ISIS. She was stopped from leaving the Denver airport to go meet her boyfriend, who had persuaded her to join ISIS. Conley was open with investigators about her plan to go to Syria and wage jihad.
Earlier this month, 19-year-old Mohammed Khan was arrested in Chicago just before he was to fly to Istanbul. Khan had left a note behind for his family, detailing his reasoning behind leaving the U.S. to join ISIS.
On Monday, a deadly attack from a self-radicalized Canadian Muslim convert, Martin Couture-Rouleau, who was flagged as a high-risk traveler and stopped from flying out of Canada earlier this year, ran down two soldiers with his car. Couture-Rouleau was fatally shot, ending a high-speed chase with Quebec police. One of the soldiers Couture-Rouleau attacked died of his injuries on Tuesday.
Images: Getty Images