One of the three ‘Jihadi bride’ schoolgirls who left East London in February of 2015 to join Islamic State has died in the war zone, her family’s lawyer has revealed.
Attorney Tasnime Akunjee said the family of Kadiza Sultana learned of her death a few weeks ago. She is believed to have died during a Russian airstrike on the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, in May this year, ITV News reported.
Her sister, Halima Khanom, said in a statement to the channel: “We were expecting this, in a way. But at least we know she is in a better place.” The British Foreign Office said it could not confirm the report.
Ms. Sultana, 16, along with friends Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, flew from London’s Gatwick Airport to Turkey on February 17, 2015.
All three girls were married off to Islamic State fighters – including an Australian and a U.S. national – and two became widows within months of arriving in Syria, their families were told.
Ms. Sultana had made contact with her family because she was unhappy and was allegedly planning to escape from the terror group. There were reportedly plans to rescue her involving the British and Turkish authorities.
The Guardian claimed this morning that the girls were “lured by Isis propaganda”, with others defending them as innocent because they had supposedly been groomed online and “brainwashed in their bedrooms.”
Abase Hassan, father of Amira Abase, insisted his daughter was not an extremist and described her as “just a normal kid who is a victim of extremists”.
However, Mr. Hassan also admitted taking his daughter on multiple Islamist marches – one when she was just 13 years old.
Footage emerged of unemployed Mr. Hassan, 47, enthusiastically partaking in the burning of an American flag and marching at the front of a protest behind a banner reading: “The followers of Mohammed will conquer America.”
The march was led by Islamist radical Anjem Choudary – now charged with recruiting for Islamic State – and was attended by Michael Adebolajo, one of the Islamist terrorists who murdered British soldier Lee Rigby.
Mr. Hassan and his family were even invited to give evidence to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee in March 2015 where they blamed the police for letting the girls join Islamic State.
The head of the Metropolitan Police was forced to apologise for not knowing the movements of the three schoolgirls and for not sending warning letters directly to the parents.
The committee and its chair, Keith Vaz MP, also lectured the police chiefs on the need to “rebuild trust” with Muslim communities in the wake of the “oversight”.
Uh, no BBC. She wasn't a "London schoolgirl" she was an ISIS sympathiser and defector = jihadist. pic.twitter.com/fla8tqeOEr
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) August 11, 2016
Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer representing the families, has also blamed the police for ‘failures’ and said they should have known where the girls were.
However, Mr. Akunjee has previously campaigned for less surveillance of Muslims. He has also said that British Muslims should not cooperate with the British police, and he believes that the security services “created” Michael Adebolajo who killed Drummer Lee Rigby.
Mr. Hassan and his family came to Britain from Germany in 1999. “I came for democracy, for the freedom. For a better life for children, so they could learn English,” he claimed.