Five teenage girls from Tower Hamlets banned from travelling to Syria after radicalisation concerns

UK passport and boarding pass. Pic: John O'Nolan

UK passport and boarding pass. Pic: John O’Nolan

Five teenage girls from Tower Hamlets have been banned from going to Syria by a High Court judge after concerns were raised by the local council.

The girls, two aged 15 and the other three, aged 16 were made wards of court. This means they are legally unable to leave the jurisdiction of England and Wales.

Mr Justice Hayden also removed their passports and those of some of the adults involved in their care. No-one in the case has been identified.

The judge said he ordered the removal of their carers passports because in an at least one other case, young girls had travelled on passports belonging to other family members.

There was also evidence suggesting that the family members in the case had not been full and frank with social services, and that the girls had been moving to a more radicalised position.

“It seems to me that that must have been known to the parents and they deliberately did not share it with the authorities who were keen to protect these vulnerable young girls.”

The judge who was involved in similar case of a 16-old boy earlier this week, said it was a “draconian” step, as was the removal of a passport.

“As I said early this week in another case, and I repeat it in this, sometimes the law has to intervene to protect these young people, ultimately from themselves.”

“Therefore I am satisfied there is evidence of sufficient cogency and the evaluation of risk is such as to justify the orders sought.”

A Tower Hamlets council spokesperson said: “Keeping children safe is our highest priority. We have not taken this step lightly but we came to the conclusion that it was in the best interests of the young people involved to take this course of action.”

The girls and adults in question were not in court yesterday however they can challenge the emergency ruling at a future date.

Last month three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets left the UK for Syria. Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 all travelled to Raqqa in Syria, an area controlled by Isis.

Shamima Begum used the passport of her 17-year-old sister Aklima in order to leave the UK. It is believed the three pupils left the UK to join another girl from Bethnal Green Academy, Sharmeena Begum, 15 who travelled to Syria in December.

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