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US teens caught in Frankfurt with plans to join IS

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Three US girls were detained in Frankfurt and sent home, amid speculation they were travelling to join Islamic State rebels in the Middle East.

They were sent back to their families in Denver, Colorado at the weekend, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Tuesday in Washington.

Two of the girls were sisters of Somali descent aged 15 and 17, and the third was a 16-year-old from another family with Sudanese origins, the Denver Post reported.

A spokesman for the Somali family told the Post that the girls apparently bought their own tickets, but did not answer media speculation that they planned to travel through Turkey to join Islamic State fighters in northern Syria.

One of the Somali sisters told German authorities they were heading to Turkey to study, according to a Voice of America report at the weekend. Turkey is seen by anti-terrorism experts as a transit point for people joining rebel groups in the Middle East.

The girls were declared missing after they skipped school on Friday.

The Sudanese girl’s father was alerted by a call from her school, and the other family told police their passports and 2,000 dollars were missing.

They were detained by German authorities at the weekend in Frankfurt, and were back with their families in Denver on Monday, the Post reported.

Asked by the sheriff’s deputy why they had gone to Germany, the Somali girls just said “family” without elaborating, the Denver Post wrote, citing the deputy’s report. SAPA

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