Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2015 Contents A17
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the disappearance of three British
schoolgirls said yesterday they
believe the teenagers are no longer
in Turkey and have crossed into
Syria --- likely joining dozens of
other young women leaving
Europe to join terrorists.
The disappearance of the three
girls, aged 15 to 16, underlines fears
that growing numbers in Britain
and Europe are lured by online
propaganda to join the Islamic State
group and become "jihadi brides."
Security officials say at least 500
Britons have travelled to Syria to
fight with extremists, often via
Turkey. Experts estimate about 50
The three girls in the latest case
--- all described as "straight-A stu-
dents" from a highly-regarded
London school --- went missing
from their homes on February 17.
Authorities say they boarded a
plane to Istanbul.
The families of Shamima
Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and
Amira Abase, 15, have implored
them to return home.
A fourth girl from the school
where the missing girls studied
disappeared in December and was
thought to have left for Syria. Police
said detectives investigating that
case spoke to the three girls at the
time, but there was nothing to
suggest they were at risk of rad-
Experts say most of the Islamic
State group s recruitment of young
girls is conducted online on social
media such as Facebook, and those
trying to make the journey invari-
ably receive advice on how to con-
ceal their tracks.
Ross Frenett, a researcher at the
London-based Institute for Strate-
gic Dialogue, said women living in
western Europe want to join the
Islamic State group for many of
the same reasons motivating men:
A vision of an Islamic utopia, a
way to address the atrocities carried
out against Muslims worldwide.
"They believe they re going to
a place where they will be empow-
ered and come of age. There is a
real sense of sisterly adventure, an
idealistic view of what you re going
to get into and a sense of cama-
raderie," he said.
"An awful lot of them expect
adventure but what they get is
drudgery, often domestic drudg-
The case has raised questions
about whether British officials were
doing enough to tackle radicalisa-
tion and prevent young converts
from travelling to Syria.
A top Turkish official com-
plained Monday that British offi-
cials waited three days before seek-
ing help in the case, losing valuable
Turkey s deputy prime minister
said the girls arrived in Istanbul as
tourists, and British authorities did
not share enough information for
Turkey to act quickly.
"It is a condemnable act, a
shameful act that a country like
Britain ... did not follow (the girls)
closely," Bulent Arinc told reporters
in Ankara, the capital.
"They woke up three days after
the fact to notify us."
"We don t have a mechanism
that allows us to question or read
the minds of tourists," he added.
The Metropolitan Police disputed
that account, however, saying yes-
terday that they notified the Turk-
ish embassy in London a day after
the girls went missing. (AP)
A three image combination of stills taken from CCTV of Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, centre and
Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport before they caught their flight to Turkey last Tuesday.
The photos were issued by the Metropolitan Police in London. AP PHOTO
CARACAS---Officials say a middle school
student died after being shot in the head
during an anti-government protest in
Venezuela's restive western region yesterday.
San Cristobal Human Rights Commission
president Jose Vicente García says preliminary
investigations suggest 14-year-old Kluiver Roa
was injured during a violent confrontation
between protesters and police in the state of
Tachira, and died on the way to the hospital.
Other stone-throwing students were injured
during the clashes, said Reinaldo Manrique, a
It's not clear who might have fired the bullet.
The attorney general's office has opened an
investigation into the teen's death. San
Cristobal, known as Venezuela's protest city,
was the epicenter of last year's massive street
demonstrations that led to 43 deaths.
Critics say the increasingly unpopular
President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to distract
his supporters and spook opponents by jailing
political rivals ahead of parliamentary elections
later this year. (AP)
Teen killed during anti-Chavez protest
Brit teens' disappearance
Cops fear girls
now with Isis
PRAGUE---A gunman opened fire
inside a small-town restaurant in
eastern Czech Republic yesterday,
killing eight people and seriously
wounding a waitress before he fatally
shot himself, officials said. It was
the worst shooting attack in the
young country s history.
The gunman was a local man aged
around 60, said Patrik Kuncar, mayor
of the southeastern town of Uhersky
Czech public radio said the gunman
called a local television station before
the attack, complaining that police
weren t solving his problems and
threatening that he would "take things
into his hands."
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec,
who arrived at the scene, said the
man had a gun license.
"It was not a terrorist attack" he
The gunman was armed with two
pistols and opened fire at the
approaching police officers, Chovanec
The attack shocked the town of
17,000 that lies 300 kilometers (185
miles) southeast of Prague, the capital,
and is home to the Ceska Zbrojovka
"Nobody believed anything like
that could happen in such a small
town," Kuncar said.
"I can hardly imagine what con-
sequences it will have for the future
life in this town."
The waitress was shot in the chest
and had hour-long surgery, said Dana
Lipovska, spokesman for the hospital
in the nearby town of Uherske
Hradiste. Her condition was "very
serious," Lipovska said.
The Czech Republic has strict gun
control laws, but hunting is popular
in the eastern European nation.
"I am shocked by the tragic attack
in Uhersky Brod," Prime Minister
Bohuslav Sobotka said in a statement
while on a trip to South Korea.
He offered his condolences to the
victims relatives and President Milos
Zeman did the same. (AP)
man, the former neighbourhood
watch volunteer who fatally shot
Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confronta-
tion with the teenager, will not face
federal charges, the US Justice
Department said Tuesday.
The decision resolves a case that
focused on self-defence gun laws and
became a flashpoint in the national
conversation about race two years
before the Ferguson, Missouri, police
Zimmerman, who is white, has said
he acted in self-defence when he shot
the 17-year-old Martin during a con-
frontation inside a gated community
in Florida, just outside Orlando. Martin,
who was black, was unarmed when
he was killed.
Once Zimmerman was acquitted of
second-degree murder by a state jury
in July 2013, Martin s family turned to
the federal investigation in hopes that
he would be held accountable for the
That probe focused on whether the
killing amounted to a federal civil rights
violation, which would have required
proof that it was motivated by racial
animosity. Although Martin s parents
have said Zimmerman initiated the
fight, the Justice Department said there
was not enough evidence to establish
that Zimmerman willfully deprived
Martin of his civil rights---a difficult
legal standard to meet---or killed the
teenager on account of his race.
"This decision is limited strictly to
the department s inability to meet the
high legal standard required to pros-
ecute the case under the federal civil
rights statutes; it does not reflect an
assessment of any other aspect of the
shooting," the Justice Department said
in a news release announcing the deci-
Zimmerman s attorney, Don West,
couldn t immediately be reached for
comment on the decision.
The February 2012 confrontation
began after Zimmerman saw Martin
while driving in his neighbourhood.
Zimmerman called police and got out
of his car and approached Martin, who
was returning from a store while vis-
iting his father and his father s fiancee
at the same townhome complex where
The decision to not prosecute Zim-
merman comes even though Attorney
General Holder has made civil rights
a cornerstone of his tenure, which is
winding down. (AP)
Gunman shoots self after
killing 8 in restaurant
No charges in Trayvon Martin
death, says US Justice Dept
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