Missing schoolgirls ‘in Al-Raqqa’
Prime Minister vows to introduce new laws to disrupt Brits flying to join extremists
The search for three British teenagers, who left their London homes last month to join up with the Islamic State in Syria, have crossed the border to the war-torn nation, Sky Sources report.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, are believed to be staying in the town of Al-Raqqa, with a British host who the group had contacted before their departure.
Last week the girls were seen in CCTV footage boarding a coach in Turkey and it is from there that they are believed to have crossed over into Syria.
All three girls, students at Bethnal Green Academy, London, had not told their parents where they were travelling having said they were just meeting friends on the day.
In response to the latest update, Britain looked set to introduce new laws on Tuesday which would attempt to stop airlines carrying passengers who they believe to be at risk of joining IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
Security services estimate that around 600 Britons have travelled to the two nations to join militant groups, with no legislation currently in place to stop the passengers.
Under the proposed new laws, Home Secretary Theresa May would be able to prevent airlines from carrying passengers, including children, believed to be travelling to take part in ‘terrorism-related activity’ on known routes, such as those into Syria, according to a Home Office statement.
“This important legislation will disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight and then return,” James Brokenshire, a junior minister for security in May's department, said in the statement.
“It will also enhance our ability to monitor and control the actions of those who pose a threat,” he added.
The rules would require airlines to seek permission to carry such passengers. An automatic system based on passenger lists provided by airlines would flag high-risk travellers and stop them boarding aircraft.
The new powers are part of Britain's efforts to stop foreign fighters from entering Syria via commercial flights and come weeks after the three London schoolgirls fled Britain to join up with Islamic State through Turkey.
Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) has previously said it was helping a government investigation into the case but that it was only responsible for checking visas.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also urged internet firms to do more to tackle online extremism after it was revealed the three girls had used Twitter to contact other women involved with Islamic State.