Father of first girl who fled to Syria 'warned police to watch friends'
The father of a British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State in December reportedly warned police to monitor her three friends who are thought to have followed in her footsteps.
Mohammed Uddin said his 15-year-old daughter Sharmeena Begum was close friends with Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, who left the UK in February.
Sharmeena is believed to have travelled to Turkey in December before crossing to border into Syria.
Mr Uddin, 38, told the Daily Mail he warned police and the girls’ school, Bethnal Green Academy, to watch the trio after Sharmeena’s disappearance.
He said: “I said (to officers): ‘Keep an eye on the three girls, maybe they’ll give you a clue.’ Shamima, Kadiza and Amira were her closest friends.
“I was pretty sure when my daughter went missing that the four girls would have gone together. And when I realised (they hadn’t) I was surprised.”
At the time of the trio’s disappearance last month, the school said in a statement: “This situation follows an earlier disappearance of a student in December of last year. The police spoke to that student’s friends at the time and further to this, they indicated that there was no evidence that the girls were at risk of being radicalised or absconding.”
Scotland Yard have said police received reports that a 15-year-old girl from Bethnal Green Academy left the UK for Syria on December 6, and three days later officers interviewed seven of her friends at the school, including Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, about her disappearance.
A Met spokesman said: “During the meeting, in the presence of the deputy head, there was no indication that any of the girls spoken to were in any way vulnerable or indeed radicalised. There was no indication that any of the girls were at risk of travelling to Syria.”
Last updated Sat 14 Mar 2015