A British police team is in Turkey to assist in investigations of three missing British girls who left London for Istanbul last week, reportedly to cross over into Syria to join terrorists.
According to the British police’s statement released Monday, officers of the Metropolitan Police "are working closely with the Turkish authorities who are providing a great deal of assistance and support to our investigation."
Three teenaged students, Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15 and Kadiza Sultana, 16, left last Tuesday, Feb. 17, from Bethnal Green Academy in east London for Turkey.
Their families have made appeals for them to come home. Amira's father, Abase Hussen told the British media Sunday that, "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."
Renu Begum, Shamima's sister, said in a video statement Sunday, "We are just hoping that she is gone to see her friend... she is our baby. She is very sensible; we are hoping that she would not do anything that will put her life in danger."
One of the missing girls is believed to be in touch with another British woman Aqsa Mahmood, who recently fled to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [Daesh] terrorist group, where she reportedly also married a militant in 2013.
The girls were last seen Tuesday at their home addresses in east London. They left their homes and lied to their families about where they would be out for the day. The girls then travelled to U.K.’s Gatwick airport and boarded a Turkish Airlines flight that departed for Istanbul, according to British police’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit statement released last week.
The British government estimates that as many as 600 people have left Britain to go to Syria and Iraq. More than 200 people were arrested last year on terrorism charges, British police added.
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