Turkey says it has detained a “foreign spy” for helping three British schoolgirls who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State.
The Turkish foreign minister said an intelligence agent working for one of the states in the US-led coalition had helped London teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Shamima Begum and Adiza Abase get to Syria.
In an interview published on the official Anatolia news agency, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “Do you know who helped those girls? He was captured.
“He was someone working for the intelligence (service) of a country in the coalition.”
Mr Cavusoglu said the agent in question was not American nor from an EU state but did not elaborate.
The three schoolgirls flew from Gatwick to Istanbul on 17 February and are feared to have continued to Syria to become so-called “jihadi brides”.
They are believed to be staying in a house in the IS militants’ stronghold, Raqqa.
Last week CCTV footage emerged which appeared to show the three teenagers at a bus station in Istanbul.
The girls were seen wrapped in heavy winter jackets, two with hoods pulled up, and carrying packed sports bags and holdalls.
The footage was recorded less than 24 hours after the trio left their London homes, telling their families they would be out for the day.