Four travel ban UK girls attended runaway trio's school

Four of the five teenage girls in the UK - barred from travelling abroad after they showed an interest in going to Syria - attended the same school as the trio who earlier fled to allegedly join the Islamic State.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 28, 2015, 16:00 PM IST

London: Four of the five teenage girls in the UK - barred from travelling abroad after they showed an interest in going to Syria - attended the same school as the trio who earlier fled to allegedly join the Islamic State.

Last week, High Court judge Anthony Hayden barred five teenage girls from going overseas due to concerns they too would flee to Syria to join the Islamist fighters.

All seven teenagers attended Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets.

The four girls, along with a fifth who is home-schooled, have been made wards of court. Their passports have also been seized.

The school's name was disclosed after reporters in the UK argued it was in public interest.

Journalists argued that parents in Tower Hamlets considering schools for their children had a "right to know" whether the three missing teenagers and the grounded girls went to the same school.

The five girls - two aged 15 and three aged 16 - were barred from travelling after they showed an interest in going to Syria.

Justice Hayden made the move to bar their travel following an application from Tower Hamlets social services officials.

He was told that social workers had raised concerns that the girls might flee to areas controlled by the IS. He said sometimes the law had to "intervene to protect young people from themselves".

The judge said that he continues to analyse the girls' cases at further hearings and has heard evidence from counter-terrorism specialists at the Metropolitan Police.

The judge had made an order saying the five girls could not be identified at the High Court here recently.

He made a ruling allowing the school to be named at a follow-up hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

In mid-February, police raised concerns following the disappearance of Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima Begum, 15, and Amira Abase, 15, from their homes in east London.
Shamima used the passport of her 17-year-old sister to leave the UK, police have said.

The three girls were friends and pupils at Bethnal Green Academy.

A fourth girl from the same school, Sharmeena Begum, 15, from Bethnal Green, left about two months before the three girls.

All four teenagers are thought to be in Raqqa - the Syrian city where the IS has its headquarters.