DENVER (AP) — Three teenage girls from suburban Denver being investigated for possibly trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria aren’t radicalized jihadis but rather victims of an online predator, a school official said Wednesday.
Tustin Amole, a spokesman for the Cherry Creek School District, says at least one of the girls was communicating with someone online who encouraged them to travel to Syria. They were detained at an airport in Germany before being sent home over the weekend.
A U.S. official says the girls — two sisters, ages 17 and 15, and their 16-year-old friend — were headed to Syria.
Another U.S. official said the girls were headed toward Turkey en route to Syria.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation by name.