3 Missing Colorado Teen Girls Fled Country to Join Islamic Militant Group

The search for three missing American teen girls is over -- but authorities are shocked at where they turned up. The teens -- all US citizens who are 15, 16, and 17 years old -- were caught in an airport in Germany while attempting to fly from their home in Denver to Syria, where they reportedly wanted to join Islamic militant groups. And now police have the task of trying to figure out who helped these really young girls escape the country without their parents' knowledge.

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The girls haven't been identified, but law enforcement agents say the 15- and 17-year-old girls are sisters originally from Somalia, and that the 16-year-old girl is from Sudan. They were reportedly in contact with someone living in Germany, though it's unclear if they were planning on meeting up with that person. Cops say they stole money from their parents before leaving home, and the sisters' father told police $2,000 went missing from his home.

The trio was stopped at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, and sent back home to Colorado. It was then discovered that they didn't have set plans on how they were going to actually get to Syria or join militant groups.

The girls' families say they never ran away before. They reported them missing on October 17, but no one close to the teens told police there was a possibility that they had flown overseas. A few days later, the girls' parents reportedly told the FBI they feared the teens may be traveling to Turkey -- it isn't clear what brought on that suspicion.

The girls are back home with their families and, as of now, are not facing any charges.

This isn't the first time a "disaffected" American teen has tried to escape the country in order to join an overseas militant group. Last month, 19-year-old Mohammed Hamzah Khan was caught at an airport in Chicago trying to fly to Syria to join the Islamic State. He left a three-page letter to his parents in which he explained he wished to leave a society that he felt was becoming more "immoral" each day.

And another Colorado teen -- 19-year-old Shannon Conley -- pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy after attempting to board a plane in April to join ISIS.

What do you think police should do about these three teen girls? Do they have the right to do anything? 

 

Image via ECP/Flickr

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