Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thinking Twice, and Then Again, Jihadi Brides

"They were seen in Tal Abyad yesterday. They were travelling with a Syrian male in a private car. They were using Syrian identity cards."
"We understand that after arriving in Istanbul the girls met an [ISIS] member who is charged with helping foreigners who want to join the group."
Turkish intelligence source

"They are in Istanbul and are trying to reach a town on the Turkish border to cross into Syria. There is someone coordinating with them. A smuggler. They can't move by themselves."
ISIS source, Istanbul

"On this particular occasion we weren't notified that these girls were travelling. If we had been notified then we might have been able to intervene."
Commander Richard Walton, Metropolitan London Police counter-terrorism command

"I told her [sister] that if you need anything from us just let us know and she said that all they need is our prayers and she started crying."
Salmon Farsi, East London Mosque spokesman
Kadiza Sultana
Shamima Begum
Amira Abase
Lured to jihad: Kadiza Sultana, 16, top, Shamima Begum, 15, centre, and Amira Abase, 15, bottom, at Gatwick

There you have it, Turkey's interests colliding with that of another NATO member. Within Turkey Syrians can operate freely if they are not committed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, now in bad odour with Turkey's Islamist Erdogan, but rather operating on behalf of ISIS. And ISIS members too are given free reign to move about with impunity, given a theatre out of which they may facilitate moving new recruits to their jihadist campaign into Syria.

And in London, relations between mosque and government security is so fragmented that even when it should be obvious that a family is frightened and concerned over the fate of one of their members attracted to ISIS's invitations to present as brides for mujahadeen, that when three teen-age girls decamp ostensibly without their families' knowledge to fly to Turkey for passage through to Syria and marriage with ISIS members, no one has been alerted to pre-empt their plans.

Three young girls from Bethnal Green Academy in East London being the object of an international search to discover their whereabouts before they are swallowed into the jihadist swamp, but with little hope they can be recovered at this juncture. Shamina Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase for whom the exploits of a school chum who had previously made the trip seemed irresistible to them as well, crossed into Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham-controlled Syria.

These "grade A" pupils have now been a week into their adventure, from Gatwick airport, on to Istanbul, and finally into the embrace of Islamic State in Syria; fodder for the upcoming generation of newborns who will populate the looming, growing caliphate whose expression is the fervent desire of Islamist expansion and global conquest. Neither Scotland Yard nor Turkish Airlines, let alone the U.K. Border Force had been alert to the girls' adventure.

Yet one of the girls' older sister had expressed concerns over what she discerned as unusual behaviour, and she did so in her approach to the East London Mosque. She obviously found little interest, let alone alarm or assistance from that source. And once in Istanbul the network of ISIS "representatives" active there were more than capable of preventing detection of the whereabouts of the three girls, finally expediting their travel to Syria.

Abase Hussen, father of Amira, expressed his family's grief, that the family "cannot stop crying". And, he pleaded with his daughter, somewhat tardily, "The message we have for Amira is to get back home. We miss you. We cannot stop crying. Please think twice. Don't go to Syria."

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