London

Islamic State concerns prompt passport confiscation

The Royal Courts Of Justice Image copyright Empics
Image caption Mr Justice Hayden, sitting at the High Court, made the ruling to "secure the safety of the girl"

A girl from the same school attended by girls who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group has been ordered to hand her passport to the High Court.

The 16-year-old's sisters have also been ordered to surrender passports to the tipstaff, an officer of the court.

Judge Mr Justice Hayden made the ruling after hearing the girl may have been "intimately involved" in details of one of the girls who made the journey.

Four girls from Bethnal Green Academy in east London have travelled to Syria.

The first girl to travel went in December, while Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum left the UK together in February, the judge in the case was told.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum travelled via Turkey to Syria, in February

An order was passed to protect the identity of the 16-year-old - described by Mr Justice Hayden as "impressive and intelligent" - until she is 18, to allow her to complete her education and finish her childhood in peace.

The court heard she was one of the first to be made a ward of court after evidence was submitted by social services and the police counter-terrorism unit "concerning vulnerable children who might have been subjected to radical influences".

Mr Justice Hayden acknowledged the "intrusion" posed to the lives of her sisters by having to surrender their passports, but said: "Where that is a measure taken to secure the safety of their sister, it seems to me to be one relatively minor consequence.

"We are seeking to protect from a risk of very great magnitude, for we know that those who travel to ISIS to participate in jihad risk their own lives."

A lawyer representing two of the girls who travelled to Syria in February revealed last month they had got married, though it was not clear whether the men they married are IS fighters.

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