South Africa detains teenage girl trying to join ISIS

South African police detains 15-year-old girl while trying to leave country via plane to join ISIS

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A 15-year-old South African girl was detained Sunday by security officials before leaving the country to allegedly join ISIS, Reuters has reported.

The teenager was pulled out of a British Airways flight in Cape Town leaving for Johannesburg.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo said “We can confirm that she was planning to leave the country with the intention of joining ISIS and had been actively engaged with social media networks.”

Security officials say she was headed for Turkey, to later cross into Syria.

Turkey shares a 400 kilometers border with Syria which makes it a target for the foreign fighters trying to join ISIS.

Turkey has detained and deported thousands of foreigners on its border who tried to cross into Syria with the aim of joining ISIS.

Investigators found evidence in the girl’s bedroom showing that she was connected to ISIS recruiters.

“An investigation is under way as to how far this network goes, whether there is a cell in the country, and what the methods of recruiting and funding are,” Mahlobo said and added “We cannot allow South Africa to be used as a recruitment space.”

Police handed the girl to her parents after her initial testimony.