Syria girls were ‘not radicalised at school’

The three girls were last seen at Gatwick airport. Picture: AP

The three girls were last seen at Gatwick airport. Picture: AP

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THE headteacher of the academy attended by three teenage girls believed to have travelled to Syria to join Islamic State has said police found no evidence they had been radicalised at the school.

Mark Keary, of Bethnal Green Academy in London, said they were “shocked and saddened” by the disappearance of Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16.

Police spoke to the girls after another student disappeared in December and indicated at the time there was no evidence they were at risk of being radicalised or absconding, Mr Keary said yesterday.

He also said access to social media at the school was “strictly regulated”.

A tweet sent from a Twitter account under Shamima’s name was sent to Aqsa Mahmood, who left Glasgow for Syria to become a “jihadi bride” in 2013.

Mr Keary said: “We are all shocked and deeply saddened by the news that three of our students have been reported missing from home, they boarded a flight to Istanbul from Gatwick Airport last week, and our thoughts are with the families of the missing girls at this time.

“This situation follows an earlier disappearance of a student in December of last year. The police spoke to that student’s friends at the time and they indicated that there was no evidence that the girls were at risk of being radicalised or absconding. The police have also confirmed that the families of the missing girls were unaware of their plans to leave the country.”

He said students were unable to access Twitter or Facebook on school computers.

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