The Girls Who Fled to Syria: Groomed by The Islamic State (Vice News Video)

A 2015 Vice News documentary on Amira Abase, one of the three schoolgirls who fled Bethnal Green Academy to join ISIS in Syria, provides extremely valuable context to the current debate regarding Shemima Begum. While everyone has an opinion on the Shemima Begum issue few of us have the facts.

The documentary filmmaker Ben Ferguson has created a vital record of events at the time and the suffering of Amira’s family which LW urges you to watch.

It is believed that Amira may still be alive in Syria according to Shemima but this is not confirmed.

Children can be radicalised in two weeks

One reason we suggest you watch the Vice News video is so that we as a community can compare what we and the families of the three schoolgirls were told at the time of their disappearance by the authorities and the facts that are now coming to light four years later.

One of the most startling facts that emerge from the video is that children can become radicalised online in only one to two weeks.

The film also shows the Metropolitan Police Service’s most senior officer in charge of counter-terrorism at the time, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, telling the Parliamentary enquiry that if Amira should return she would not be prosecuted if she had not committed any acts of terrorism.

Tasnime Akunjee

The work of Tasnime Akunjee, the lawyer currently representing the Shemima Begum family, is also highlighted. Mr Akunjee has roundly condemned the way in which the case of the three schoolgirls was handled by the authorities in 2015. 

Whatever your view of Shemima Begum and her current plight, the video provides you with the reality of what happened in 2015.

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