Two of the three London teenage jihadi brides 'are already widows' after their new husbands died fighting for ISIS
- Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase fled the UK last year
- Husbands were quickly chosen for all three, with two dying ‘within months’
- They were last heard of living in the ‘hellishly dangerous’ ISIS capitalÂ
Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase fled the UK last year and were last heard living in the ‘hellishly dangerous’ ISIS capital of Raqqa.
In an interview with Vice News, it was revealed the families had been told all three girls were married to approved men, with two of the husbands dying within months.
Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer representing two of the families, said Amira had married an Australian jihadi who was killed in combat, while Kadiza’s new husband had also died.
Widows: Amira Abase, left, and Kadiza Sultana are thought to have lost their husbands since fleeing to Syria in February last year
The three schoolgirls from East London ran away from home nearly a year ago after apparently becoming radicalised by extremists.
A lawyer for their relatives revealed earlier this week that they have not been heard from for several weeks as ISIS territory has been bombarded by Western and Russian air strikes.
Solicitor Tasnime Akunjee said that communications in Raqqa, the town where ISIS is based, have become harder as the bombing campaign has intensified.
‘They are in Raqqa, or were there certainly up until a few weeks ago,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
He agreed it was a ‘hellishly dangerous ‘ place and added ‘contact has been lost with them for some weeks now, so to be honest we have no idea what their status is at the moment’.
Mr Akunjee suggested that Western governments’ attempts to cut off ISIS’s links with the outside world had hampered the families’ attempts to stay in touch with their daughters.
‘When you have that warzone strategy in front of you, what can parents half-way across the world do to communicate with their children?’, he said.
Contact: Shamima Begum and her friends are stranded in war-torn Raqqa, according to their lawyer Tasnime Akunjee.
The lawyer – who has represented a string of alleged extremists and called on Muslims not to co-operate with the police – was speaking after the announcement of a new Government anti-terror strategy.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan was visiting Bethnal Green Academy, where the missing girls were at school, to reveal the plans.
A new website called Educate Against Hate will advise parents on how to tell if their children are at risk of being radicalised and flag up potentially worrying behaviour.
Meanwhile, schools watchdog Sir Michael Wilshaw said that teachers should be free to ban girls from wearing face veils in class ‘if it is stopping good communication’.
Mr Akunjee said he was sceptical about the initiative and suggested that the existing counter-terror programme, Prevent, had ‘collected criticism all along the route’.
He added: ‘I would agree that something needs to be done, surely. The difficulty is in trusting in a system that has continued to produce, frankly, no results, and indeed attract criticism from pretty much every source there possibly could be.’
The lawyer, who works for a firm in Brentford, West London, once described Prevent as ‘straightforward, paid-for spying on the community’.
Shamima, 16, Kadiza, 17, and Amira, 16, went missing in February last year and were caught on camera flying from Gatwick to Istanbul.
It emerged in July that at least two of the girls had married older men who were chosen for them by ISIS commanders.
At the time Mr Akunjee suggested that the trio were ‘starting to grow roots socially, and deep roots’, meaning that they may never return to Britain.
The girls’ families blamed the police for failing to intervene and stop them travelling to Syria.
However, it later emerged that Amira’s father Abase Hussen is a militant Islamist who has been pictured at protests alongside one of Lee Rigby’s killers.