Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and their 15 year-old friend (unnamed at the request of her family) didn’t just run away from their London homes this past Tuesday. British authorities believe they boarded a Turkish Airlines flight into Istanbul with the intent of using Turkey as a jumping-off point into Syria.
It defies logic.
The Telegraph reports:
[Scotland Yard Commander] Mr Walton said: “We are extremely concerned for the safety of these young girls and would urge anyone with information to come forward and speak to police.
“Our priority is the safe return of these girls to their families.
“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.”
He added: “We are concerned about the numbers of girls and young women who have or are intending to travel to the part of Syria that is controlled by the terrorist group calling themselves Islamic State.
“It is an extremely dangerous place and we have seen reports of what life is like for them and how restricted their lives become. 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.
“The choice of returning home from Syria is often taken away from those under the control of Islamic State, leaving their families in the UK devastated and with very few options to secure their safe return.
“If we are able to locate these girls whilst they are still in Turkey, we have a good possibility of being able to bring them home to their families.”
Authorities believe that the three girls’ motivation for such a dangerous trip stems from the similar flight of a mutual friend, who traveled to Syria last December. Friends and family are reaching out through traditional and social media in a frantic attempt to secure the safety of the girls before they cross the border into Syria; if they leave Turkey, it is unlikely that authorities will be able to intervene:
Salman Farsi, a spokesman for the girls’ local mosque, said he broke into tears when one of their sisters called him in distress, ITV reported.
“I think the girls need to know they have done nothing wrong,” Farsi, of the East London Mosque, said. “They have been manipulated.”
The trio will have a much easier time coming back from Turkey but may not have that option once they are in Syria, police said.
“It is an extremely dangerous place and we have seen reports of what life is like for them, how restricted their lives become,” Walton said. “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.”
It seems impossible that these three young women could be unaware of what they were walking into, but who knows?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen. Last year, 19 year-old Shannon Conley was stopped in the Denver airport before she boarded a plane to Syria to join her boyfriend (an ISIS fighter she met online—because, once again, this defies logic); and in October, 3 teens from Colorado made it all the way to Germany before authorities were able to prevent them from completing the final legs of their trip into ISIS territory.
You’d think that all the videos of beheadings and burnings and would be all the “education” these women would need about the danger of throwing in with a terror organization. You’d think.
The insanity that is ISIS has spread far beyond the Syrian border. What can we do but pray for these families?DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.