By Cayla Chmiolek
LONDON—Missing since last Tuesday, three missing London teens are believed to be heading to Syria to join ISIS extremist forces. Terrified parents release cries of plea to their girls to come home safely.
The girls are 15 and 16 years old. All three said to be good students from the same London school. Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15 flew aboard a Turkish airline on February 17th. Their departure was from London’s Gatwick Airport.
Amira Abase, 15, told her father that she was attending a family wedding, and instead jumped on a flight with two other friends to Turkey. It’s unclear where Abase, Begum and Sultana are as of now.
“What she’s doing is completely nonsense,” Amira’s father, Abase Hussen, said. “Remember how we love you. Your sister, brother, they cannot stop crying.”
Begum’s family often let out cries for the girls to return home. Her family also explains her willingness and desire to help those suffering in Syria.
“Syria is a dangerous place and we don’t want you to go there. Get in touch with the police and they will help to bring you home,” Begum’s family said. “You are not in any trouble.”
British police have growing concerns of the number of young women who are looking to join, or have joined ISIS already. They want to stop this cycle from becoming a growing problem with the young population. British police explain that once the girls are in Syria with this group, it is unlikely they will be able to leave and return home.
Early Tuesday, Turkish officials blamed the British authorities for the girls’ disappearance. Apparently, before the girls left, they are said to have contacted a young woman named, Aqsa Mahmood, who had left her home in 2013 from Switzerland to travel to Syria. She is accused of seeking recruits through social media.
Turkey has become the most traveled route for people trying to get to Syria’s armed areas. This has become more evident these past three years, as the country’s anti-government uprisings have spiraled out of control. The Turkish-Syrian border has been extremely difficult for the Turkish security forces to protect.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, uses this incident with these three schoolgirls as a need to fight ISIS on multiple levels. Turkish president said that British and Turkish security forces and intelligence agents are now working together to try to find these girls.
About 20,000 foreigners have joined the conflict in Iraq and Syria within the past three years, and with 4,000 from Western Europe, according to BBC news. Very little is known how people make this trek, and how these three teenagers made their journey.
There is no single cause for why people turn to radicalization. British anti-terror police made an unprecedented appeal to find the three missing girls on Friday.
The search to find these teenage girls is still ongoing. The purpose and motives of the girls is still being investigated, as they enter Syria.
“You can help from home. You don’t have to put yourself in danger,” Begum’s family said. “Please don’t cross the border. Please come home to us. Our Mum needs you home and is really worried. We are not mad at you, we love you.”