New CCTV footage shows three runaway UK schoolgirls on Turkish leg

London, PTI | Updated : 02 March 2015, 12:02 PM

New CCTV footage show three runaway UK schoolgirls on the Turkish leg of what is believed to have been their journey to join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew from here to Istanbul on February 17.

The images show them waiting at Bayrampasa bus station.

Scotland Yard believes the Bethnal Green Academy students from East London are now in Syria.

They are thought to have been met at the border by IS militants.

The girls waited in the offices of two bus companies at the station before taking a bus to Urfa - close to the Syrian border - on February 18, the BBC reported today.

From there, they are thought to have been driven to a border crossing point by people smugglers.

Time codes on the CCTV images suggest the girls were at the bus station, which is on the European side of Istanbul, for nearly 18 hours.

They had flown from Gatwick to Turkey after telling their parents they were going out for the day.

The girls’ families have made a number of emotional appeals for them to return home.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc had said officials would have taken “necessary measures” to intercept the girls had they known about them earlier.

Arinc said: “It is a condemnable act for Britain to let three girls...come to Istanbul and then let us know three days later. They haven’t taken the necessary measures. The search is ongoing. It would be great if we can find them. But if we can’t, it is not us who will be responsible, but the British.”

Scotland Yard has denied taking three days to inform officials in Turkey about the girls’ planned journey.

First Published: Monday, March 02, 2015 11:57 AM
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