The British Schoolgirls Who Fled To Syria To Apparently Join ISIS Are No Longer Together — REPORT
It's still a mystery how three schoolgirls from the U.K. apparently became involved with ISIS and traveled to Syria earlier this year, and it's now believed that they have separated. Their families' solicitors revealed Thursday that the London schoolgirls in Syria are no longer together. Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew from London to Turkey in February and then reportedly crossed over into an ISIS-controlled area of Syria. The Turkish foreign minister told reporters that a Syrian man working as an intelligence agent in the coalition against ISIS helped the girls get to Syria.
Waterford Solicitors revealed that some of the girls contacted their families in the U.K. Sky News reports that the solicitors said: "They have made it known that they are safe and in good health but are no longer in the company of one another. Furthermore, they have intimated that they are unlikely to be returning to the U.K. in the immediate future. The families are grateful to know that their daughters are alive and in good health." ITV News reported that one girl called her family, while the other two made contact over the Internet, and said "the families believe the messages are genuine." It's not yet known how or why the girls were separated.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan police, has said that they can return home without being prosecuted for terrorism. However, a senior ISIS commander who defected from the militant group and goes by Um Asmah told Sky News that the girls will never go home. Asmah said they are more likely to "die in Iraq or Syria."
Asmah told Sky News:
IS is not stupid, they have educated people who know how to deal with (the) psychology of others, how to deal with the human being. All these are in IS. They have ways to attract people — especially foreigners. Otherwise young British people wouldn't come and say they will change the flag on Buckingham Palace. IS have the ability to manipulate the minds of young people. If they can convince foreigners, it is even easier to convince Arabs and Syrians. They have freedom and everything is available — they have no need to come to Syria, but they do.
In an interview with The Guardian, the families of the three girls accused the British police of not telling them that another 15-year-old classmate of the girls was believed to have fled to Syria to join ISIS just two months before Begum, Abase, and Sultana left. The families said that if they had known, they would have been more alert that their daughters might be at risk.