17:41 23 February 2015
Officers from the Metropolitan Police have arrived in Turkey to search for the missing schoolgirls. Classmates of Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, have now returned to Bethnal Green Academy following half-term.
Although the trio disappeared two months after a fellow pupil is thought to have left to join Islamic State in Syria, the school said it doesn’t have evidence that the trio were being radicalized or might abscond.
Principal Mark Keary added that social media was ‘strictly regulated’ at the school – with no access to Facebook or Twitter.
The three girls were last seen on Tuesday morning as they left their homes, telling their families they would be out for the day.
They are thought to have boarded a Turkish Airlines flight at Gatwick to Istanbul and could have crossed into Syria and join terror group Islamic State.
The father of Amira Abase, Abase Hussen, said his family was "completely different now".
"We are depressed, and it's very stressful," he said. "The message we have for Amira is to get back home. We miss you. We cannot stop crying. Please think twice. Don't go to Syria."