UK

Syria girls: Video appears to show missing British trio

  • 13 March 2015
  • From the section UK
Media captionThe new footage appears to show the girls near the Syrian border

New video footage appearing to show three missing London schoolgirls preparing to enter Syria has emerged.

The footage, broadcast by Turkish network A-Haber, seems to show a man helping Amira Abase, Shamima Begum and Kadiza Sultana into a car near Turkey's border with Syria.

It is believed to have been shot by the man later arrested for allegedly helping the trio cross the border.

Turkey's foreign minister has said the man was an intelligence worker.

He worked for the intelligence agency of an unspecified country that is part of the coalition against IS, according to Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Image caption Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum (l-r) left Britain in February

Shamima and Amira, who are both 15, and 16-year-old Kadiza Sultana - all pupils at Bethnal Green Academy in east London - left their homes on 17 February.

The GCSE students flew to Turkey from Gatwick with Turkish Airlines and are believed to have entered Syria within days, probably to join Islamic State extremists.

CCTV images have shown the teenagers waiting at a bus station in Istanbul on the day they arrived in the country.

They are then thought to have travelled to a location close to the Syrian border.

'Syrian passports'

BBC home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford said the video appears to show the girls "in the hands of people smugglers in the Turkish town of Gaziantep", with the "same distinctive luggage" that the trio had carried at Gatwick.

He added: "Some of the conversation on this newly uncovered footage is unclear, but there seems to be a reference to Syrian passports.

"Filmed three weeks ago, this was the last stage of their journey through Turkey before they crossed into Syria."

It is thought the girls were met at the Syrian border by IS militants and are now in a "training camp" preparing to join the extremists.

No-one is believed to have heard from them since they left London.

About 20 women and girls are thought to have gone to Syria from the UK in the past year, probably to join militant groups.

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