UK Denies Three Day Delay Over ISIL Schoolgirls Intelligence

© AFP 2022 / Tauseef MUSTAFAKashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a demonstration against Israeli military operations in Gaza
Kashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a demonstration against Israeli military operations in Gaza - Sputnik International
UK police deny that it informed Turkey too late about three teenage schoolgirls allegedly making their way to Syria via Istanbul to join the ISIL.

In this file photo, Islamic State group militants hold up their flag as they patrol in a commandeered Iraqi military vehicle in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK police deny Ankara's claim that it took them three days to alert Turkish authorities about London schoolgirls heading to Syria via Istanbul to allegedly join the Islamic State (ISIL), a Scotland Yard statement said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkey's deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc accused the British authorities of taking three days to warn the country about three teenage schoolgirls allegedly making their way to Syria via Istanbul to join the ISIL.

“Once we established that the girls had traveled to Turkey, police made contact with the foreign liaison officer at the Turkish Embassy in London on Wednesday, February 18,” a Scotland Yard statement said as quoted by local media.

Scotland Yard stressed that since then UK police have been working closely with the Turkish authorities who are providing all the necessary assistance for the investigation.

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Three London schoolgirls between the ages of 15 and 16 traveled to Istanbul on February 17 after giving their families “plausible reasons” for why they would be out for the day. According to Scotland Yard, the girls are believed to be heading to war-torn Syria to join the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group.

The missing girls are friends with a fourth girl from the same school who is allegedly already in Syria, having left the UK in December.

The IS is a jihadist group that controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, but also operates affiliates in Eastern Libya, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and other areas of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It has proclaimed a caliphate on the lands it has captured and published a number of videos showing foreign citizens being executed.

The IS actively rallies foreigners under its banners, including at least 600 people from UK, according to British security forces estimates.

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