Former private school girl among ‘brainwashed medical students volunteering for Isil’

Lena Mamoun Abdelgadir, bottom left, was an ‘incredibly bright’ pupil at Wisbech Grammar School

A 19-year-old British medical student feared to have slipped into Syria to volunteer as a medic in Islamic State controlled territory was an “incredibly bright” pupil at a £12,000-a-year private school, it has been disclosed.

Lena Mamoun Abdelgadir is one of up to nine British students in their late teens or early 20s believed to have crossed the border from Turkey last week to treat those in hospitals held by the militant extremists.

Their families have told Turkish officials they believe their children have been “brainwashed” into helping the jihadists of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (Isil).

Miss Abdelgadir’s father, who is a respected surgeon at a Norfolk hospital, flew to Turkey to find his daughter hours she told her sister she was on her way to treat Syrian civilians. Other relatives have followed and are calling on the Government to do more to bring their children back.

Staff at her former school, Wisbech Grammar School, said they were shocked and surprised at the news.

Miss Abdelgadir, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk, spent nine years at the nearby school, where fees are nearly £12,000 a year. She left after her GCSEs to begin medical training in Khartoum, Sudan. All the missing students have Sudanese roots and are current or former pupils of the same medical college in the Sudanese capital.

Chris Staley, headmaster of Wisbech Grammar School, said: “She was an incredibly bright and focused young lady who was clearly destined for great things on the medical or scientific side”…

Related: Turkish MP: US, Canadian med students among group in Syria