Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum
THE debate to stop teenage girls from joining the Islamic State group in Syria raged on after three high-achieving youngsters became the latest to run away from home.
All three were spoken to in December by police investigating the disappearance of a friend who went to Syria but Scotland Yard insists nothing indicated they would follow suit.
School friends Kadiza Sultana, 17, and 15-year-olds Shamima Begum and Amira Abase left their east London homes on Tuesday and flew to Istanbul, raising concerns they would travel on to Syria to join IS jihadists.
Amira’s father Abase Hussen, 47, said nothing in his daughter’s behaviour indicated anything was wrong when she told him he was leaving to attend a wedding.
“She said ‘Daddy, I’m in no hurry’,” Hussen Abase told journalists at police headquarters. “There was no sign to suspect her at all.”
In fact, she had travelled to Gatwick Airport to take a flight to Turkey, despite never showing signs of an interest in extremism to her family.
“She doesn’t dare discuss something like this with us. She knows what the answer would be,” Abase Hussen, holding a Chelsea FC teddy bear that his football fan daughter had given her mother.
“The message we have for Amira is to get back home. We miss you. We cannot stop crying. Please think twice. Don’t go to Syria,” he said.