London schoolgirl who joined Isis believed killed in Syria air strike

Bethnal Green student Kadiza Sultana is thought to have been planning to flee Syria

A CCTV image from February 2015 showing British teenagers Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum  at Gatwick Airport before flying to Turkey to join Isis. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A CCTV image from February 2015 showing British teenagers Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum at Gatwick Airport before flying to Turkey to join Isis. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

A Bethnal Green schoolgirl who fled Britain last year to join Islamic State is believed to have been killed in an airstrike in Syria, apparently while planning to escape.

Kadiza Sultana, who left her east London home during the half-term break in February 2015 with friends Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, is thought to have died during an airstrike on the jihadi terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa in May this year, ITV News reported.

Her sister Halima Khanom said in a statement to the channel: “We were expecting this in a way. But at least we know she is in a better place.”

Tasnime Akunjee, solicitor for the family of Sultana, told the Guardian they believed she had been killed, most likely, several weeks ago.

The three girls, aged 15 and 16 when they caught a flight from Gatwick to Turkey, were gifted students at the Bethnal Green academy in east London before being lured by Isis propaganda, abandoning their A-level courses and families to marry Isis fighters in Syria.

Disillusioned

Citing conversations with her family and Raqqa residents, ITV said Sultana had become disillusioned with life in the city and had been planning to try to make her way back across the Syrian border with Turkey and eventually to Britain.

“It is believed she was killed before she could flee, after the property she was staying in was obliterated by the airstrike in May,” the channel said in a statement. The UK foreign office had no immediate comment on the report.

Khanom had told the channel in an earlier interview that Sultana’s situation “has changed. The way she used to communicate with me . . . The way she used to talk about things has totally changed . . . She’s scared of being there.”

In a phone conversation with Khanom recorded by ITV shortly before her apparent death, Sultana said: “I don’t have a good feeling. I feel scared.” Asked why, she replied: “If something goes wrong, that’s it. I will never be with you.”

Akunjee said: “The family are devastated. A number of sources have said that she has been killed, and she has not been in contact with the family for several weeks. Over a year ago she had been talking about leaving. There was a plan to get her out.”

Khadiza had married an Isis fighter from the US who was killed last year during a battle.

– Guardian service