Three teenage girls from Britain have ran away from home. They got on a flight to Turkey and are believed to be travelling to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. The girls are British Muslims.


Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew  to Turkey on Tuesday. They were studying for their GCSEs at a school in East London.

Before the girls left, Shamima sent a message on Twitter to Aqsa Mahmood, a girl from Glasgow, Scotland, who left the UK in 2013 to marry an Islamic State fighter. It is not thought that the girls knew each other except on Twitter. Shamima’s twitter account is now being monitored by the police.

Baroness Warsi, a British politician and lawyer, has said that the Government is fighting a “losing battle” against online radicalisation. She commented that “one of the things that Islamic State has been very successful at is using the internet for their own propaganda”.

The girls’ families and school are asking for them to return home and to contact them to let them know that they are safe.

Vocabulary: to run away from home (phrasal verb), to monitor (v), to let someone know something (phrasal verb), Baroness (n).

Discussion Questions

1) What could the connection be between the three girls from London and Aqsa from Scotland?

2) What is online radicalisation? Do you agree that we are “fighting a losing battle” against online propaganda?

3) What do you think the government should do to help these girls?

4) What are the advantages and disadvantages of the government monitoring people’s social media accounts?

5) In your opinion, should the government monitor our online activity? Do you think this would help fight against the Islamic State and terrorism?

Story from: the BBC and the Independent. Photo BBC