Two of the three British teenage girls who ran away to Syria to join the Islamic State in February are now reportedly married to ISIS members.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, secretly fled their East London homes in February and went to Istanbul, where they evaded Turkish intelligence services, and then crossed the border into Syria, Huffington Post reports.
Their families publicly begged them to return home.
The report of their marriages was made by the girls' families to The Guardian.
Two of the teenagers were allowed to contact their families and let them know they are now married to Islamic State approved husbands and are living in Syria. One of the girls phoned her family while the other used social media to tell them the news.
The girls do not live together and have been separated for several weeks, in and around, Raqqa, Syria.
The families have requested that the names of the now married girls not be released.
The girls were reportedly given a catalog of men ISIS considered suitable for them to marry and they were able to pick whom they wanted. The men they married are believed to be in their 20s.
The girls’ families are said to be grief stricken at the news of the marriages.
“It has caused a lot of distress. It entrenches their lives in Syria, rather than in Britain. It erodes significantly hopes that they will come back,” Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer representing the families, said.
A video released on Friday night by the Daily Telegraph allegedly shows the girls in ISIS controlled territory in Syria out shopping. A woman holding a gun is leading them through the area.
The girls’ families do not believe it is them in the video and it is impossible to distinguish who the women are as they are all wearing burqas. The video was shot eight weeks ago by an anti-ISIS group, Eye on Homeland.
“At the time the video was shot, two of the girls are known to be married and separated from their friends from east London. The families think the video is unlikely to be them. All three are living apart and those who are married are under the aegis of their husbands and are unlikely to be under the aegis of some woman leader,” Akunjee said.
Eye of Homeland claims the video is of the girls and that the woman with them is known as “Um Laith”—Mother of the Lion—and is tasked with “purifying their western minds” by teaching them the practices of the caliphate.
The metropolitan police’s investigation of the missing girls, plus a fourth from the same school, is still open. Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said in March that the girls are free to return home without fear of prosecution for terrorism as long as no evidence surfaced showing them engaged in violence.
Photo Source: The Guardian