LONDON -- The families of three teenage schoolgirls believed to be Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruits said they could have stopped the girls from leaving London. They tell British lawmakers police failed to warn them of the danger.
There has been a heated debate in Parliament centered on how the girls managed to make their way to Syria, apparently to join ISIS, reports CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata. It was all about blame, and there was plenty to go around.
Three weeks ago Tuesday, the three girls, Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15 years old, and 16-year-old Kadiza Sultana, packed up and left London.
Security camera footage in Turkey confirmed the very worst fears: They were on their way to Syria.
Sahima Begum told Parliamentarians there was no inkling whatsoever her sister, Shamima, had been influenced by Islamic extremism.
"Not at all; my sister was into any normal teenage things," Begum said. "She used to watch 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' and stuff like that, so there was nothing that indicated that she was radicalized in any way -- not at home."
The families blamed police for not notifying them directly that another girl from the same school had run off to become an ISIS bride in December.
Instead, police gave the girls a letter to hand to their parents.
That never happened.
Lawmaker Keith Vaz said the result was a huge propaganda coup for ISIS and a big blow to the credibility of London's police force.
"It needed that letter to go to the parents and the parents to be told that this was a situation , not to hand the letter to a 15-year-old girl!" Vaz said.
London's police chief, Bernard Hogan-Howe, could do little more than agree.
"It was intended for them and it failed, and for that of course we're sorry," he said.
But sorry won't bring their girls back. They reportedly showed up Raqqa, Syria, the headquarters of ISIS itself.
The police were certainly the target of blame for the families, but the signs of their plans may have been evident at home. After they left, one family found a list of things to take to Syria. It included socks, a cell phone and makeup.