2 UK girls reportedly marry ISIS fighters in Syria, have ‘no intention to come home soon’

A handout CCTV picture received from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on February 23, 2015 shows (L-R) British teenagers Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum walking with luggage at Gatwick Airport, south of London, on February 17, 2015. (AFP Photo / Metropolitan Police)
Two of three British schoolgirls who slipped off to Syria on their own have married Islamic State militants, their families’ lawyer told the Guardian. The teens say their marriage ceremony was approved by IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL) leadership.

The girls, Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, allegedly made a one way journey from East London to Syria back in February to join the Islamic State.

Two of the teens contacted their families in London via phone and social media to say that they had been married to IS fighters. The Guardian didn’t reveal exactly which of the girls in the trio had been married.

The girls, all students of Bethnal Green academy in East London, said they have been separated and are now living near Raqqa, Syria, which has been in the militants’ control since 2013. According to the teenagers, they are now with the men whom they married.

The marriage “has caused a lot of distress,” Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer representing the families of the girls, told the Guardian, “It entrenches their lives in Syria, rather than in Britain. It erodes significantly hopes that they will come back.”

The Daily Telegraph earlier reported that it had caught the girls on video while they were shopping in a highly-guarded IS-compound.

However, Akunjee said that at the time the footage was recorded “two of the girls are known to be married.”

READ MORE: ‘Naïve’ British schoolgirls ‘will die in Iraq or Syria’ – ISIS commander

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,” the lawyer added.

The girls prepared for their ‘ISIS’ trip in advance, booking tickets and carefully planning their journey.

In May reports emerged that one of the girls contacted her family in the UK to confirm she was “healthy, safe and well,” but that she and the other girls had “no intention” of returning home soon. The two other girls reportedly contacted their family via the internet.

Shortly after the girls disappeared, their families blamed police for failing to deliver a warning letter about a boy from the same school who had reportedly run away to join the IS in Syria. The parents said that for some reason the letter had been given to the girls, instead of directly to them. The girls never passed the letters on to their parents.

READ MORE: Travel bans issued for 5 British girls attending same school as runaway ISIS trio

After the girls joined the militants in February, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that all teenagers boarding flights to Turkey could be challenged by airlines if they were traveling alone, and could be asked if they planned to join the IS.

READ MORE: 200% rise in terror arrests among British teens

UK authorities believe that, as of June 2015, about 700 Britons have joined Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. Approximately 200 of those have returned to the UK.