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Authorities Trying to Determine How Girls Who Wanted to Join ISIS Were Able to Flee UK

Aired March 10, 2015 - 11:00:00   ET


ANCHOR: Welcome to Connect the World. You have been listening to the families of three teenaged girls believed to have joined ISIS in Syria

addressing British politicians. As we have been hearing there, the aftermath of the girl's disappearance last month has been punctuated by

accusations and counter accusations. Authorities and relatives alike are trying to determine how the girls were able to flee the UK, fly to Turkey

and then possibly cross the border into Syria.

Well, CNN's Atika Shubert has been keeping a close eye on this. She joins me now.

Atika, you and I were listening closely to this, and this all -- it seems to me it's a bit of blame game going on here. And it centers around

this letter. Why is this letter so crucial? Tell us about that?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this was a particularly important letter, because it goes back to December when

another classmate went missing. Police came in. They interviewed seven girls in total. And they gave them all letters to give to the family to

explain what they were being questioned on.

Now those -- in the case of these three girls, they never gave those letters to the parents. And the parents are saying if we had known that

our daughters had been questioned, if we had known that they had a classmate that went to Syria, we would have been looking for more signs.

How do we find radicalization when we don't know it's out there?

So, they feel as though it was a missed opportunity to stop them from leaving in the first place, and that's where we're getting a bit of this

blame game. They're saying the police didn't communicate with us.

Now, we're going to hear the police side of that in a few moments when we hear from Sir Bernard Hogan Hughes (ph), how he's going to be the head

of the metropolitan police commissioner and he will explain the police version of what happened.

ANCHOR: Yeah, we're also going to learn from the Turkish ambassador to the UK as well.

But let ask you this, because we heard them saying that the school didn't tell the families that another girl had left. Surely the mistake

starts there. The police not communicating to the families, schools not communicating with the families, that's a huge flaw. I mean, the lawyer,

Takmimi Abunje (ph) called it a cacophony of error in the handling of this matter. Is this what it's looking like, a lack of communication right

across the board?

SHUBERT: Well, this is certainly what the families are saying. They feel like they've given all the information to the police and the police

weren't giving them any information. They were finding many things out from the media. For example, they pointed out the CCTV video of the girls

waiting days later for a bus in Turkey to eventually cross into Syria.

For the families, they're saying, well, you told us there were police on the ground looking for them in Turkey. How come now there the CCTV

video of their waiting. So it is a communication problem. We've only heard from the families so far. We will hear from the police soon.

ANCHOR: Let's go back to the committee Britain's parliament members here, hearing of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Let's listen in.