(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI has tracked down three American teenage girls in Germany as they were en route to Syria to join militant groups, a law enforcement official told ABC News Tuesday.
The girls, who are from the Denver area, were trying "to fulfill what they believe is some vision that has been put out on a slick media campaign" by radical groups in Syria, including ISIS, the official said.
This is part of a worrisome trend of "disaffected youth" who are being radicalized, the official said, pointing to the wider phenomenon of foreign fighters converging on the conflict in the region. While these girls were 15 or 16 years old, there are other cases of high-school-age kids trying to get to Syria that haven’t been made public, the official said.
The girls were persuaded to travel overseas and were in contact with someone in Germany, the official said, noting that someone close to them notified authorities.
They were turned around and sent back to the United States, the official said, noting that because they are minors, it's not clear whether they will be charged with anything or be "arrested."
According to a federal law enforcement source briefed on the case, two of the girls are sisters, ages 15 and 17, and the third girl is 16 years old.
The sisters are believed to be of Somali nationality, and the third girl is believed to be Sudanese, though the citizenship and immigration status of all three girls is unclear.
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