Results tagged “France”
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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.
The Defense Ministry rejected a media report that among those targeted in coalition airstrikes against the Al Nusrah Front in Syria last month was a French intelligence operative who had defected to al Qaeda; he is said to have survived the strikes and to be leading fighters in Irbil. The Foreign Ministry refused to comment. A 15-year-old French girl is in police custody after stealing her parents' credit card and leaving home in an attempt to travel to Syria for jihad.
Interior Minister Cazeneuve said there are about 1,000 French jihadists who have traveled to Syria and Iraq or plan to go this year, an increase of 74 percent. The Interior Ministry also recently said that 180 of the 930 French nationals who have traveled to Syria or Iraq for jihad have left. Authorities are reportedly monitoring Salim Benghalem, a French national suspected of serving as an Islamic State executioner in Syria; he was recently added to the US' list of global terrorists.
Authorities have begun formally investigating three French jihadists recently returned from Syria who are suspected of preparing terrorist attacks; two of them have links to Toulouse shooter Mohamed Merah. The three suspects, who were already subject to investigation since September 2013 for ties to the "Artigat" network of jihadists in southern France, were arrested in Turkey. On Sept. 25, President Hollande said security will be stepped up in public places, and that France will increase its assistance to Syrian rebels who are fighting jihadists and is also ready to help other countries combat terrorism.
A video surfaced that shows a Frenchman claiming to have been recently kidnapped by Jund al Khilafah, an Islamic State-linked group in Algeria, and asking France not to intervene in Iraq. Interior Minister Cazeneuve said "France is not afraid," in response to the IS' latest threats against France and the West. France asked the UN to add four people to its list of global terrorists.
The French military carried out its first airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq, attacking a logistics depot in the northeast. President Hollande said precautions had been taken to ensure there were no civilian casualties, and more strikes will be carried out in the coming days. Some jihadists on Twitter called for retaliation against France.