London school girls feared to be travelling to Syria
Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, left on a flight to Turkey last Tuesday

Three London school girls feared to be travelling to Syria to become wives of Islamic State jihadists were not radicalised at Bethnal Green Academy, its principal has stated.

Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, flew to Istanbul in Turkey last Tuesday and are feared to be heading to war-torn Syria.

Their flight came two months after a 15-year-old from the same school went missing in December and is thought to have travelled to Syria.

But academy principal Mark Keary said none of the girls were radicalised at the east London school.

"Police have advised us there is no evidence radicalisation took place at the academy," he said.

"The police spoke to the student's friends at that time [in December] and, further to this, they indicated there was no evidence the girls were at risk of being radicalised or absconding."

Begum, Abase and Sultana flew to Turkey on a Turkish Airlines flight from Gatwick, with Begum using the passport of her 17-year-old sister Aklima to travel.

Security services were criticised for failing to spot Twitter messages sent by Shamima to Aqsa Mahmood, who left Glasgow for Syria in 2013 before marrying an Isis fighter.

Families of three teenagers made direct appeals at the weekend for the girls to return home.

Abase Hussen said his 15-year-old daughter Amira Abase, told him she was going to a wedding on the morning she travelled to Gatwick Airport to fly to Turkey and had been behaving in a normal way.

He said: "She said 'daddy, I'm in a hurry', there was no sign to suspect her at all."

Mr Hussen said the family had asked her about a fellow pupil at Bethnal Green Academy in east London who fled to Syria in December. She said: "I'm sad for that little girl."

"It's completely different now," Mr Hussen said. "We are depressed, and it's very stressful. The message we have for Amira is to get back home. We miss you. We cannot stop crying. Please think twice. Don't go to Syria."

He added: "What she's doing is completely nonsense. Remember how we love you. Your sister and brother cannot stop crying," and that his wife has a "broken heart".

Speaking of her younger sister, Shamima, Renu Begum, 27 said: "Mum needs you more than anything in the world. You're our baby. We just want you home. We want you safe."

"Her family love her more than anybody else in this world can. If anyone is telling her they're going to love her more than us, they're wrong. We're hoping she wouldn't do anything that would put her in danger."

Sister of Kadiza, Halima Khanom said: We want you know that we all miss you and we love you. Everyone is hurting because we don't know if you are safe, especially mum. Find the courage in your heart to contact us and let us know you are okay, that is all we ask."