Results tagged “France”
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French jihadist Mickael Dos Santos and his mother denied that he was featured in a recent Islamic State video as an executioner. The mayor of the small town of Labastide-Rouairoux in southern France identified French jihadist Abou Ossama Al-Faranci as appearing in the video, and noted that he had left Toulouse for Syria about a year ago.
The Defense Ministry said two French fighter jets along with other coalition aircraft struck Islamic State trenches around the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, creating a breach in the terror group's frontlines. Foreign Minister Le Drian said France will send six Rafaele fighter jets to be based in Jordan, bolstering the French air forces that already include nine fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates. A Paris prosecutor identified Muslim convert Mickael Dos Santos in addition to Maxime Hauchard as participants in an Islamic State execution video; the two French nationals are being investigated for crimes including murder and membership in a terrorist group. Prime Minister Valls said 50 French nationals have died in Syria. Officials estimate that over 1,132 French nationals have joined terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, and that 376 are actively fighting there. Of those 376 combatants, 23 percent are said to be Muslim converts.
One of the jihadists shown in the Islamic State's video on the beheading of US citizen Peter Kassig is reported to be French citizen Maxime Hauchard a.k.a. Abou Abdallah Al-Faransi, a Muslim convert who traveled to Syria in 2013. Another Frenchman also appeared in the video. Interior Minister Cazeneuve said authorities are investigating Hauchard, among others; about 1,100 people are under surveillance by French authorities for suspected jihadist activity.
Following his extradition from Canada yesterday, Hassan Diab, 60, a Canadian citizen and university professor, was charged with first-degree murder and other crimes for the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue that killed four people and injured many more. Diab, who was arrested in Canada in 2008, was accused of membership in the extremist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
A court sentenced French citizen Flavien Moreau, 27, a Muslim convert with a prior criminal record, to seven years in prison for joining Islamist militants in Syria. Interior Minister Cazeneuve has said that authorities have been monitoring about 350 possible jihadists, including some 80 minors and 150 women, and have prevented at least 70 people from traveling to the Middle East for jihad. Yesterday four French nationals, including two with Polish and Rwandan origins, were arrested in Morocco for links to terrorist groups; one of the suspects had also traveled to Egypt and Yemen.
The state-owned utility EDF said complaints have been filed against the unnamed persons who have flown drones over seven of France's nuclear plants between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20. Interior Minister Cazeneuve said an investigation has been launched and measures are being taken to neutralize the drones. Foreign Minister Le Drian said a French paratrooper was killed in a clash in Mali between French forces and al Qaeda-linked militants.
Officials are looking into the disappearance from their homes in Nice of a family of 11, including a grandmother; the family is said to have gone to Syria for jihad. Over 1,000 French nationals or residents are thought to have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join extremist groups, and at least 350 are believed to be still there; one of them is teenager Nora Fouad, from Avignon. President Hollande said he supports Turkey's proposal for the creation of a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria.