Three British schoolgirls, thought to be trying to join militant Sunni Islamist group Islamic State, boarding a bus in Istanbul's Esenler district.
(photo credit: screenshot)
One of three schoolgirls who left London in February of 2015 to join Islamic State has died, her family lawyer told British news station ITN on Thursday.
In an exclusive interview with ITN, Attorney Tasnime Akunjee said the family of Kadiza Sultana had made every effort to bring her back to the UK before they learned of her death in Raqqa a few weeks ago.
"It's no less than any family member would have done for their own child. You'd move heaven and earth to try to bring your kids back from any danger zone and this family had made every effort and stretched every sinew to try and have their daughter - their sibling - back home. That was always the situation when you have a person in a war zone - the worse can happen and the longer that they're in that danger zone, the more likely that the risk can catch up with you. Unfortunately it just wasn't possible to have her home before the risk caught up with her," Akunjee said.
ITN said she was believed to have been killed in an air strike in Syria.
"It's most unfortunate that this situation has arisen and one would hope that the only benefit out of this is, as a tombstone and a testament to others that these are the risks actually involved in going to a war zone to dissuade people from ever making that choice."
Sultana, 17, along with two other friends, flew from London's Gatwick Airport to Turkey on February 17, 2015.
Dubbed "jihadi brides", the three girls were all high-achieving students at a well-to-do school in east London who had given their distraught families no indication of what they planning. They had been in contact via Twitter with other women involved with Islamic State.
After arriving in Istanbu, the girls arrived at the border with Syria in a vehicle driven by a Syrian male and, using Syrian identification cards, crossed into Tal Abyad, a town under the control of the Islamic State group.Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.