Originally published in the Daily Mail
Strolling through Gatwick, these are the ‘naive’ teenage girls who flew out of the UK to join jihadists in Syria. The trio were at the centre of an international hunt last night after being captured on airport CCTV.
Scotland Yard was facing questions over how the girls – aged 15 and 16 – were able to board a flight to Turkey unchallenged, despite having no parent or guardian with them.
Emily Dyer, a research fellow specialising in Islamism at the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: ‘The fact that this is still happening shows that security needs to be stepped up. The fact they are so young makes it shocking but it has happened before.
‘When three young girls – two only 15 – arrived at the airport without parents and wanted to board a flight to Turkey, which we know is a staging post to Syria, it should have alerted suspicions.’