The families of three London schoolgirls who were featured in a VICE News documentary after they left the UK to join the Islamic State (IS) 11 months ago say they haven't heard from their daughters since mid-December, raising fears about what may have happened to them.
Teenagers Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana, and Shamima Begum traveled to Syria in February 2015. The last time their parents heard from them, the girls said that bombs were exploding nearby, their communications could be disrupted, and that they had gotten married, according to Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer representing two of the families.
"They said they're healthy, Russian bombs have gone off within 500 meters of them, and if they're not in contact don't worry," Akunjee told VICE News.
Watch the VICE News documentary, The Girls Who Fled To Syria: Groomed By The Islamic State here:
All three of the girls married men approved by the terrorist group, with two of them becoming widows within months, the families were also told. Amira married an Australian jihadi who was killed in combat, while Kadiza's new husband also died. "We think they married after two months of going in," Akunjee said.
At least two of the teenagers are believed to have been wed to older men, in their 20s, one of whom is a Canadian national.
Akunjee added that communication was not easy in the de facto IS capital of Raqqa, saying that the group had put out an edict in the city where GPS circuits had to be taken out of cell phones and that communication had to be made by Wi-Fi at internet cafes.
Follow Ben Bryant on Twitter: @benbryant