A 15-year-old girl has fled Britain and flown out to join jihadis in Syria after being ‘brainwashed’ online.
Schoolgirl Yusra Hussien, described as a grade-A pupil who wanted to be a dentist, left her family home in Bristol to join hardline fighters in the war-torn country. Yusra, who is thought to have been exposed to jihadi propaganda on the internet, boarded a flight to Istanbul under the noses of police and border control officials at Heathrow.
She is believed to be with a 17-year-old girl from Lambeth,South London,whom she arranged to meet at the airport, and to have flown to Turkey in order to enter Syria, where Islamic State fighters control large areas.
Last night Yusra’s distraught family, who are of Somali descent, begged her: ‘Please come back. We miss you very much. You are not in any trouble. We just want you to be safe and to come home as soon as possible.’
The teenager has not been seen since 7am last Wednesday when she left home in the Easton area of Bristol. Her parents thought she was going to school, but she is believed to have
taken a coach to Heathrow.
Her father Mohammed, a youth worker, only realised she was missing when he went to collect her from school that afternoon. He and his wife Safiya, a dinner lady, declined to comment further other than to confirm their daughter was missing. A woman who said she was Yusra’s aunt added: ‘We are all really confused.’
A family friend said the teenager, who wears a headscarf, had not asked for any money and her parents were unaware of any cash she could have used to pay for her flight – suggesting that whoever recruited her may also have bought her tickets.
Afzal Shah, who spent time with the family at their home yesterday, said they had noticed Yusra use her phone and computer a lot recently.