Missing schoolgirls: First teenager who fled from east London named as Sharmeena Begum as father says he told police to warn trio's families

Mohammad Uddin wants more police scrutiny on teens online activity after his daughter's disappearance

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The first of four London schoolgirls to leave the UK and join Isis has been named as 15-year-old Sharmeena Begum.

The former Bethnal Green Academy pupil is believed to have left Britain in December to join Isis, also known as the Islamic State, and become a jihadi bride.

GCSE pupils Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, are now believed to have joined her in Isis’s de facto capital of Raqqa, in Syria.

Isis-schoolgirls-AP.jpg
Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana and Shamima Begum waught on CCTV at Gatwick airport on their way to Turkey last month

But in an interview with the Daily Mail, Sharmeena’s father Mohammad Uddin said he warned police officers to “keep an eye” on his daughter’s friends following her disappearance.

The Metropolitan police have come under criticism from the missing teenagers’ families, who claim had they been better informed by authorities they would have been able to prevent their daughters from leaving the country.

Mr Uddin, 38, who works as a waiter in a central London restaurant, continued: “I think the police should monitor the internet more because it’s destroying lives.

“It’s not fair. Not only my daughter’s, but her three friends, and I don’t know how many more it has destroyed.”

 

The four girls, all pupils at the same academy in east London, were close friends with Mr Uddin describing how the trio would often visit his daughter at home.

He said he believed that his daughter, grieving the recent death of her 33-year-old mother in January last year of cancer, had been target by online extremists who had taken advantage of her fragile state.#

Mr Uddin, who claimed his daughter previously had loved EastEnders and aspired to train as a doctor, watched as she became gradually more religious.

cctv-footage-main.jpg
CCTV footage has emerged believed to show the three teenage girls - Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana, and Amira Abase - at a bus station in Istanbul in the footage

"I thought this was normal because she lost the closest person to her, and she's an only child. Before then she wasn't very religious. She wouldn't go to the mosque and she would wear English dress,” he said.

The change in behaviour continued until Sharmeena’s disappearance in December.

He recalled the last conversation with his teenage daughter, shortly after she had fled the country. Sharmeena, who rang from a private number, told her father she was safe but that she was “not coming back.”

When he pressed her for her location, Mr Uddin described how his daughter started crying: “She told me, ‘No, you can’t come.” And she started crying. We were both crying.”