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Nov. 5, 2014

Three Denver teens attempt to join extremists in Syria

by Kalin Vassilev, Technical Staff
On Oct.17, three American teenage girls on their way to join the terrorist group ISIS were stopped at the Frankfurt airport in Germany.

The father of two of the girls realized that they were missing when he got home from work. He had unsuspectingly let his daughters, aged 15 and 17, stay home from school since they claimed to be sick. Around the same time, a father of a 16-year-old girl who is friends with the sisters also found out that his daughter was missing. He had received a call earlier in the day from his daughter's school stating that she had been marked absent. He called her then, and she claimed that she was simply running late. He later tried to reach her again but did not succeed. When he returned home, he discovered her passport missing and became alarmed.

The two fathers contacted their local sheriff's office and filed a missing person's report, which resulted in the three teenager's passports being flagged. At this point, the children had found their way to Chicago before catching a flight to Germany. Their plans seemed to include traveling to Turkey, and then making their way to Syria. However, news arrived from Germany as local police detained the three girls after they had spent a whole day at the airport. The girls were promptly sent back to the U.S. where the FBI briefly detained them for questioning. They were soon released without being charged. The authorities so far believe that the girls self-radicalized online, though they are still combing through the girl's online activities.

This week, the SITE intelligence Group issued a report which indicates that the social media accounts of the three girls showed radical leanings and extremist ideas. "The Internet played an important role in their radicalization process," Rita Katz, director and co-founder of SITE told the Denver Post.

Though they are back home, the father of the 16-year-old girl asserts that the consequences of their actions will persist for a long time. "What they did is unacceptable, and they changed their lives, and they changed our lives," he told reporters, adding that he pulled his daughter out of school. "She realizes she made a mistake."



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  • Karen (View Email) on September 3, 2015 at 9:53 AM
    What is all this about? What were their motives to join extremists in Syria. I bet everything happens because of information they read on the Internet. I cannot even say I feel sorry for girls' fathers. Lack of parents' attention has awful consequences. I got a research on Family studies from this web site and turn my mind on parental control to Internet access around.
  • What_is_this on October 9, 2015 at 9:47 PM
    These girls are crazy. They probably don't know anything about the horrible things that ISIS has done to the good people in the middle east. How even think they could join ISIS and be accepted? To be real, ISIS would probably kill the girls without questioning.
    The internet is a real problem in this situation. They should be old enough to be able to understand what is true/false and what is wrong/right. Apparently not.
    Ignorant dilettantes.
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