What happened to Shamima Begum's friends? | The Sun

THE name Shamima Begum first hit headlines back in 2015 – when three British girls fled their homes in east London to join Isis terrorists.

But what happened to Shamima Begum and her friends following their disappearance to Syria? Here's everything you need to know.

Who were the Bethnal Green trio?

Three British girls from Bethnal Green academy – Shamima Begum, then aged 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 – fled their homes in east London in February 2015.

The teens flew from Gatwick Airport to Istanbul in Turkey, before crossing the border into Syria to join Isis terrorists.

CCTV footage released by the Met Police showed the trio passing easily through security.

The girls took advantage of lax regulations governing international air travel for unaccompanied minors, prompting a major search in Turkey.

Their disappearance was at a time when hundreds of Isis sympathisers had left for Syria to join extremists and Brits feared they posed a terrorism threat upon their return.

Their frightened families issued urgent pleas begging the girls – straight A students – to return home, to no avail.

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They also said there were no signs that their girls were interested in extremism or had planned to go abroad.

It was revealed that cops had spoken to Shamima, Amira and Kadiza after a close pal of theirs from the academy – a 15-year-old girl – had run away to Syria.

Authorities were criticised for failing to alert their families as, unbeknown to them, cops gave the trio letters to take home, asking for counter-terrorism detectives to take statements about their runaway friend.

There were also fears that the teens had been "groomed" online to become Jihadi brides.

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What happened to Shamima Begum's friends?

Amira Abase

Amira Abase married the 'Ginger Jihadi' after arriving in SyriaCredit: PA:Press Association

Amira Abase married an Australian jihadist, Abdullah Elmir, when he was also a teen.

Abdullah was dubbed the "Ginger Jihadi", because of the fanatic's flowing red locks.

The sicko became a poster boy for the terror group after he fled his home in a middle-class Sydney suburb in 2014 and shared warped propaganda videos.

He even appeared in a twisted video rant vowing that Isis would not stop killing until the “black flag” flew over Buckingham Palace and the White House.

Abdullah confirmed he had married Amira in a message to a British newspaper.

Amira was believed to have been based in Isis capital Raqqa where she wed Abdullah, also known as Abu Khaled.

He was reportedly killed in a bombing raid in Syria in late 2015.

There had been reports that Amira had been killed – but Begum scotched those rumours back in 2019.

She told The Times that her pal was "strongW and had decided to stay on in Baghuz, Isis’s last stronghold.

Shamima praised Amira for making that choice as a "single woman".

Those comments came four years after Amira's devastated dad, Abase Hussen, said: "We miss you. We cannot stop crying."

Clutching a teddy bear Amira gave to her mother on Mother’s Day, he added: “Please think twice. Don’t go to Syria.”

In 2019 he begged the government to bring his daughter and Shamima back to the UK.

Kadiza Sultana

It is believed that Kadiza Sultana was killed in a 2016 airstrike after she fled the UK with her pals.

Her family, who had been in contact with her over the phone, told ITV News that she was killed in a Russian bomb strike in Raqqa.

She was just 16 when she flew to Istanbul and travelled to the Syrian border.

Her family said the youngster had quickly become disillusioned with life in Syria and was hoping to make a return to the UK just days before she was reportedly killed.

Halima Khanom, Sultana's sister, told ITV: "Things have changed. The way she used to communicate with me.

"The way she used to talk about things has totally changed.

"Up until now. She's scared of being there."

Where is Shamima Begum now?

Begum, who is now 23 years-old, remains in Syria at the al-Roj camp – after coalition forces defeated Isis in Baghuz.

She was imprisoned back in the camp back in 2019 – after having her UK citizenship stripped by former Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The runaway who left the UK to join the terror group in Syria aged just 15, has continuously claimed that she wants to become a “voice against radicalisation” and should be allowed to return home.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that Begum should be permitted to return to the UK in order to fairly contest this decision.

However, the ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom – who, on 26 February 2021, ruled unanimously against her, reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal.

In a 2022 interview with i filmmakers, Begum said: "I want to be as British as possible.

''The problem is at the age of being a teenager you’re very arrogant and you don’t listen to people so sometimes you really do have to learn the hard way.

“I could be used as an example, like you don’t want to end up like her.

“If it stops children making the same mistake that I made of course use me as an example.

“Tell the kids ‘don’t be like her, don’t become like her.”

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All three of Begum’s children are now deceased – her youngest child Jerah died in 2019, shortly after their arrival to al-Hol.

Despite her numerous pleas to return back to the UK, Shamima has admitted that she is prepared and expects to spend the rest of her life in Syria.

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