Intelligence and security

Missing east London schoolgirls now believed to be in Syria

Three missing teenage girls from East London suspected of being on their way to join the Islamic State. Image: Met Police

Three missing teenage girls from East London suspected of being on their way to join the Islamic State. Image: Met Police

The Metropolitan Police ‘have reason to believe’ the three missing schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets are now in Syria.

This assessment has been made by detectives in the Counter Terrorism Command known as SO15.

They have officers in Turkey.

They’ve received information that Amira Abase,  Kadiza Sultana, and Shamima Begum are no longer in Turkey and have crossed into war-torn Syria where they intended to join the self-styled Islamic state.

They left London Tuesday last week and boarded a Turkish Airlines flight from Gatwick airport without telling their families about their plans.

Over the weekend the families of each of the girls aged between 15 and 16 made emotional appeals for them to return home.

The British police are continuing to work closely with the Turkish authorities on this investigation.

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