Syria-bound UK schoolgirls’ case deeply concerning
British Prime Minister David Cameron says the disappearance of three London schoolgirls who are believed to have fled to Syria to join Takfiri ISIL terrorists is “deeply concerning.”
“It is deeply concerning and obviously our authorities will do everything we can to help these girls,” Cameron said on Saturday.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, left their east London homes last Tuesday and traveled to Turkey’s city of Istanbul by a Turkish Airlines flight.
The British premier added that every educational institution in the UK should play a role in the fight against the ISIL terror group.
“It needs every school, every university, every college, every community to recognize they have a role to play.”
UK police officials have confirmed that they are cooperating with Turkish authorities in a bid to find the girls and return them home.
Last December, police interviewed the trio after another girl from their school had left for Syria.
“There was nothing to suggest at the time that the girls themselves were at risk and indeed their disappearance has come as a great surprise, not least to their own families,” the London Metropolitan Police said.
Before leaving their homes, the three girls had told their parents that they were going to spend the day outside, police said.
Also on Saturday, the families of the girls issued separate emotional appeals asking them to return home.
“Syria is a dangerous place and we don’t want you to go there,” the family of Begum said in a statement, adding, “Get in touch with the police and they will help to bring you home. You are not in any trouble.”
The girls’ disappearance comes as the British government says at least 600 British extremists have joined the ISIL terrorist group, which controls swathes of land in Iraq and Syria.
More than 250 of the militants have already returned to the UK and could pose a security threat to the country.
The ISIL Takfiris have been committing heinous crimes in the captured areas in Syria and Iraq, including mass executions and the beheading of people.