Turkey Arrests Foreign Agent Over Missing British Teens
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the country’s security forces have arrested a man, who helped three British teenage girls cross the border into Syria to join the ranks of ISIL Takfiri militants.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Poposki in Ankara on Friday, Cavusoglu stated that the man “is a Syrian citizen,” and “he works for a country in the US-led coalition against ISIL.”
Although the Turkish foreign minister did not provide any further information, that the individual was working for the Canadian intelligence service.
Canadian officials, in turn, have said the suspect “is not a Canadian citizen” and “was not employed” by the country’s spy agency.
Meanwhile, A Haber news television channel has broadcast footage of the alleged spy. The bearded man, who is wearing glasses, is led by two plain-clothes officers to a court hearing and then a medical test.
A separate A Haber video shows the man greeting the three girls – identified by British authorities as Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15 – in a mixture of English and Arabic.
“Yalla sis!” (“Let’s go, sister”), he says. “Go to this car… one, two, three,” the man adds, as the baggage is loaded. He then tells the British girls that they will be in Syria within an hour.
Appearing before the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, the relatives of the teenage girls said they would have done more to monitor them if police had let them know about a school friend of the trio who had already traveled to Syria back in December.
UK police have also been under fire for a delay in informing the Turkish authorities about the teenagers’ trip.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that the British authorities notified Ankara about the missing schoolgirls very late.