Families of Isis schoolgirls beg them not to flee to Syria

February 23, 2015 2:40 pm
The father of one of three schoolgirls who are believed to have
travelled to Syria to join has appealed for her to come home,
saying her younger brother and sister “cannot stop crying”.
Abase
Hussen, whose daughter Amira left the last week on a flight to
Turkey along with , 15, , 16 – all of whom
could have already cross the border with Syria – said she told the
family that she was going to a wedding.

British schoolgirls (from left) Kadiza Sultana, and Shamima Begum are believed to be in Syria.
“We are depressed, and
it’s very stressful,” he told Sky . “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.”
His appeal came after Commons Leader
William Hague called for new powers to intercept online messages to
prevent more Britons travelling to join the militant group that has
taken over large swathes of Syria and Iraq and has shocked the world
with brutal videos of murders.

“You are looking for needles in haystacks,” he told the BBC.
“What’s remarkable is how often we do find the needle in the haystack.”
He added: “In order to continue to do that in the future we will need to
update the powers of the security services as technology is changing
all the time and that makes it harder to intercept organised crime or
potential terrorist activity.”
Kadiza Sultana’s older sister,
Halima Ms Khanom, and one of Shamima Begum’s sisters, Renu, also urged
their siblings to get in touch.
“Find the courage in your heart
to contact us and let us know that you’re safe and you’re OK – that’s
all we ask,” said Ms Khanom, while Ms Begum added that nobody could love
her sister more than they could.
Ms Begum said of her sister:
“We love her, she’s our baby. She’s a sensible girl. We’re hoping she
wouldn’t do anything that would put her in any danger. We want her and
her friends to be safe. We want them to come home.”
Ms Begum said her mother, who shares a bed with Shamima, was “not doing well”. “It’s left a big hole in the house,” she said.
“Her
family love her more than anybody else in this world can. If anyone is
telling her they’re going to love her more than us, they’re wrong.”
Police
said the girls had been interviewed after another girl from their
school went to Syria in December, but nothing had indicated they were at
risk.
However, the family of Aqsa Mahmood, 20, who travelled to
Syria to marry an Isis fighter and become a so-called “jihadi bride” in
2013 said that the security services had “serious questions to answer”
over the way the three teenagers had been able to fly to Turkey without
being stopped.
The family spoke out after it appeared that at
least one of the three girls had been in contact with a relative on
Twitter, before they flew from the UK to the Turkish capital Istanbul on
Tuesday.
The Mahmood family said on Saturday that despite UK
Government “rhetoric” about Isis, authorities had not taken “basic steps
to stop children leaving” to join the militants.
However, Mr Hague said it was unrealistic to expect the security services to find every single thing posted online.
“Remember
we’ve spent the past couple of years being heavily crit-icised for
having so much surveillance,” he said, adding that this was a good
example of why it is necessary to intercept communications.”
Parents,
along with mosques and religious leaders, also had a “big
responsibility” to stop their children going to Syria, he said, adding
that it was “entirely open to parents” if they wanted to confiscate
their children’s passports.

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