UK & World News
Twin Girls Flee UK To 'Join Syria Militants'
Twin sisters have fled their home in the UK and travelled to Syria where it is feared they may have joined ISIS fighters.
The 16-year-old girls from Manchester crept out of their bedroom in the middle of the night and boarded a flight to Istanbul in Turkey.
Police say their parents found their beds empty at 8pm last Thursday. They later found out the pair were on their way to Syria.
Counter-terrorism officers were then alerted after the girls made contact with their family from Syria where their elder brother is believed to be a jihadi fighter.
The girls have been missing for more than ten days, but a spokesman for Greater Manchester police told Sky News there was now "a contact strategy" with the twins.
"The girls flew from Manchester International to Istanbul. They then appear to have phoned home.
"We don't know exactly where they are but their family are obviously very keen to have them returned home.
"We are attempting to locate them and secure the well-being of both girls."
The family, of Somali origin, are believed to have moved to the UK 10 years ago.
It is not clear how the two college students were able to afford to pay for the flights.
A spokesman added: "It's unlikely that two 16-year-old girls would be able to afford two expensive flights.
"So we are looking at the possibility that they had a contact there.
"It's definitely a line of enquiry that their trip could have been bankrolled by a third party - that it was pre-planned."
The girls' flight to Syria comes the day after video footage emerged of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi calling on all Muslims to obey him.
In what were thought to be the first images ever taken of the self-proclaimed caliph, al Baghdadi was shown issuing a sermon in a Syrian mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.
Former government minister and Conservative MP Liam Fox said there was a limited amount that could be done to stop people travelling abroad to fight.
He told Sky News: "The British Government is taking it very seriously ... and has frozen the assets of those found to be fighting with ISIS.
"It is also the responsibility of the entire Muslim community, particularly the clerics, to make clear that this sort of behaviour is deeply un-Islamic."