A man has been taken into custody, following an alleged attempt to assist three British schoolgirls crossing into Syria, according to the foreign minister of Turkey. The man in question may have been working along side an intelligence group for a nation which is in union against the onslaught of Islamic state (ISIS) insurgents.
Amira Abase, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, left Britain last month to join ISIS. All three schoolgirls are students at the British Bethnal Green Academy in east London. They have been gone since February 17. According to intelligence, the three flew to Turkey, apparently crossing into Syria a few days later.
The British schoolgirls were seen on CCTV cameras that showed them waiting at an Istanbul bus station following their arrival. They are thought to have been transported to an area in which Turkish forces are not located in order to join the ISIS fight near Aleppo.
Although a letter failed to reach British police authorities regarding the smuggling of the schoolgirls, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, in coordination with the Home Affairs Select Committee, said not much else could have been done to prevent the girls from leaving and crossing into Syria. The country the arrested man was from is currently unknown. No other information has been released from British law enforcement or intelligence regarding the whereabouts of the girls.
This comes just one day after Turkey shut down border crossings in two towns along the Turkish-Syrian border. Even though Turkish nationals are prohibited from crossing, those with Syrian passports are allowed to travel into Syria.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Dennis Jarvis – Flickr License