UK puts travel ban on 5 girls

UK authorities have imposed a travel ban on five teenage girls who attend the same east London school as the three girls who fled to join ISIL last month.

The girls aged 15 and 16 all at Bethnal Green academy have been made wards of court to prevent them departing for Syria. The ban comes following the disappearance in mid February of Kadiza Sultana, 16, Shamima Begum, 15, and Amira Abase, 15, from their homes in east London.

All five were barred from traveling abroad without permission by a judge in the family division of the high court on 20 March after showing an interest in going to Syria. The judge also made an order preventing the five girls from being identified.

Last month, the US National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) said in its latest estimate that more than 20,000 individuals from around the world, including many Westerners, have traveled to Syria to join the ISIL and other extremist groups.

Foreign militants from over 90 countries, including at least 3,400 people from Western states and more than 150 Americans, have gone to Syria to join the terrorist groups there, the NCTC added.

Security officials in Europe fear that European citizens who have joined the terrorist groups in the Middle East will use their combat skills against their homeland upon returning home.

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