London - British police said on Tuesday they believed that three London schoolgirls who travelled to Turkey and are thought to be trying to join militant Sunni Islamist group Islamic State, have now crossed into Syria.
Friends Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew to Istanbul from London on February 17.
“Officers leading the investigation into the three missing schoolgirls from east London, now have reason to believe that they are no longer in Turkey and have crossed into Syria,” police said in a statement.
They gave no further details, but said they continued to work closely with Turkish authorities on the investigation.
The girls' plight has prompted widespread concern in Britain, with Prime Minister David Cameron urging social media firms to do more to deal with online extremism, saying the girls appeared to have been radicalised “in their bedrooms”.