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Man held for allegedly helping British schoolgirls cross into Syria

A man has been detained for allegedly helping three British schoolgirls cross into Syria, Turkey's foreign minister has said.

The man worked for the intelligence services of a country in the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS), Mevlut Cavusoglu is quoted by Turkish media saying.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase, all students at Bethnal Green academy in east London, fled the UK last month to reportedly join IS.

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Imam calls for more checks to stop teens going to Syria

A British imam has told ITV News more stringent checks are needed to prevent more teenagers fleeing to join Islamic State in Syria.

Police have released CCTV footage of the girls in a bid to trace them. Credit: Metropolitan Police

The ease at which three British schoolgirls - feared to be travelling to Syria - were able to leave the country yesterday has sparked criticism.

Qari Asim, the imam of Makkah Mosque in Leeds, said it was "very surprising" how easily the teenagers were allowed to leave considering the current concerns about radicalisation in the UK.

He told ITV News: "It is very surprising how easily the three girls were allowed to leave the UK, unaccompanied by an adult, when there are concerns of young impressionable individuals being allured by the sophisticated social media campaign that un-Islamic so-called jihadists are running.

"Since there have been warnings for sometime of the route from the UK to Istanbul and then by road to Syria, there needs to be more a intelligent strategy, without infringing people's civil liberties, and stringent checks in place to prevent any young person from the UK travelling to join the Syrian-Iraqi conflicts."

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