- Two females aged 16 and 20 arrested in central London on Sunday night
- They are suspected of trying to travel to Syria to link up with ISIS
- Record number of women have been arrested over terrorism in the UK
Two women aged 16 and 20 have been arrested on suspicion of trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
The pair were held in central London at around 9pm on Sunday on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.
Scotland Yard said: 'Officers from the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command arrested a 20-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts, namely travelling to Syria to join a proscribed organisation.
A teenage girl, 16, and 20-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS (file picture)
'They were arrested in central London at approximately 9pm on Sunday, August 21. Both were taken into custody at a central London police station.'
Official figures for 2015/16 showed that a record number of women and girls were arrested in Britain as part of counter-terrorism investigations.
A total of 36 females were held in the 12 months to the end of March - the highest number in any financial year on record.
Rising numbers of youngsters are also being detained, with under-18s the only age group to see a rise in the number of arrests year-on-year - increasing from eight to 14.
It comes a week after British schoolgirl Kadiza Sultana, who fled the UK to join ISIS in Syria, was killed by an airstrike in Raqqa.
Kadiza Sultana, pictured, 17, is thought to have died in a bombing in Syria after fleeing there in Easter 2015
Miss Sultana, 17, is thought to have died earlier this year after her home in the terror state's stronghold city was hit by a bomb believed to have been dropped by a Russian plane.
The teenager had quickly become disillusioned with Isis and told her family last summer that she wanted to return home.
Her sister Halima Khanom said: 'We were expecting this, in a way. But at least we know she is in a better place.'
The schoolgirl had been living in Syria after leaving her home in East London during the Easter 2015 school holidays to join Islamic State.
She travelled with friends Amira Base and Shamima Begum, who were both just 15 when they fled and are believed to still be in Raqqa. All three had attended Bethnal Green Academy in Tower Hamlets.
It is believed that all three wed fellow foreigners who were fighting for the Islamic State.
Khadiza's husband was an American national of Somali origin who died late last year.
The trio shocked the nation after leaving their A-Level courses and their families to marry ISIS fighters in Syria.
It is thought more than 800 Britons believed to have left the UK to join Isis or other militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
It is thought that at least 250 have since returned. Some have faced prosecution on arrival in Britain, with others allowed to re-enter society under the watch of security services.
As previously reported, ISIS have targeted vulnerable women and girls over the internet in 'matchmaking' schemes to recruit them to become 'Jihadi brides'.
The Mail on Sunday revealed one such 'bride-maker' is Umm Muthanna Al Britaniyah, a former London student whose real name is Tooba Gondal.
She is 22 years old and her father is a successful businessman.
Through her prolific output on social media, she commands a powerful influence on her following of largely young girls as she ‘grooms’ them, urging them, as she has done, to travel to Syria and marry bloodthirsty IS killers.
In her online rants, she described Britain as ‘a filthy country’ and praised the Paris massacre last November, which left more than 130 dead, saying: ‘EXPLOSIONS AND SHOOTINGS… 80 dead.
And all praise is due to Allah Almighty. #ParisUnderAttack.’
Gondol, from Walthamstow, London, added: ‘Wish I could have seen the hostages being slaughtered last night with my own eyes. Would have been just beautiful.’
In May last year, using the name Fatima, she encouraged a British teenager she met on social media to travel to Syria and join IS.
She then asked the teenage recruit to meet one of her own relatives – a 16-year-old girl – and bring her to Syria too.
The plan was to fly to Switzerland then Istanbul, and then travel by land to the Syrian border.
But it all fell apart because the teenager that Gondal thought she was grooming was actually an undercover reporter.
ISIS are also using dating websites to lure Jihadi brides to Iraq and Syria, it has been claimed.
The fanatics have infiltrated at least one Arabic-language platform in an attempt to marry off women to its fighters.