France Moves to Stop Flow of Fighters Into Syria

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 23, 2014, 8:59 a.m.

France is mov­ing to stop its res­id­ents from trav­el­ing to Syr­ia to join mil­it­ant op­pon­ents of Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad’s re­gime, the Wall Street Journ­al re­ports.

The coun­try was poised on Wed­nes­day to en­act “all kinds of meas­ures to dis­suade, to stop, to pun­ish those who would be temp­ted to go fight­ing in places where they have no place,” French Pres­id­ent Fran­cois Hol­lande said. Gov­ern­ment per­son­nel said more than 500 people have traveled from France to Syr­ia, spur­ring fears that they could re­ceive pre­par­a­tions in the con­flict-torn state to con­duct strikes in Europe.

The an­ti­cip­ated steps would in­clude keep­ing tabs on In­ter­net ef­forts by Is­lam­ic ex­trem­ists to draft vo­lun­teers for the Syr­i­an civil war from in­side France. Mil­it­ants op­er­ate web­sites to find French sym­path­izers, and then make ar­range­ments for in­duct­ees to enter Syr­ia through neigh­bor­ing na­tions, such as Tur­key.

The French gov­ern­ment cam­paign would pur­sue co­oper­a­tion with re­l­at­ives of young­er people thought to be de­vel­op­ing rad­ic­al views, ac­cord­ing to the Journ­al. In ad­di­tion, French au­thor­it­ies are in­tensi­fy­ing ef­forts to crack down on in­di­vidu­als who have re­turned from com­bat in Syr­ia, the news­pa­per re­por­ted.

The FBI in Wash­ing­ton sim­il­arly has been track­ing U.S. res­id­ents who have re­turned from rebel activ­it­ies in Syr­ia and might be­come ter­ror­ist risks at home.

The num­ber of Europeans trav­el­ing to join the Syr­i­an war in­creased more than two-fold last year, and the con­flict is now equip­ping 2,000 to 3,000 West­ern­ers with ex­per­i­ence in fight­ing and bomb-mak­ing, ex­perts said in a Tues­day art­icle by the Chris­ti­an Sci­ence Mon­it­or.

A high-level French an­ti­ter­ror­ism in­sider said the po­ten­tial threat has “now gone in­to an­oth­er di­men­sion, dif­fer­ent from any­thing most coun­tries have seen be­fore.” The source said the pos­sible dangers from Syr­ia out­size equi­val­ent threats from Ir­aq, Ye­men and “in many ways … Afgh­anistan.”

“The risks are already big, and they’ll just keep grow­ing as the Syr­i­an war con­tin­ues,” the of­fi­cial said.

What We're Following See More »
TAKING A LONG VIEW TO SOUTHERN STATES
In Dropout Speech, Santorum Endorses Rubio
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

As expected after earlier reports on Wednesday, Rick Santorum ended his presidential bid. But less expected: he threw his support to Marco Rubio. After noting he spoke with Rubio the day before for an hour, he said, “Someone who has a real understanding of the threat of ISIS, real understanding of the threat of fundamentalist Islam, and has experience, one of the things I wanted was someone who has experience in this area, and that’s why we decided to support Marco Rubio.” It doesn’t figure to help Rubio much in New Hampshire, but the Santorum nod could pay dividends down the road in southern states.

Source:
‘PITTING PEOPLE AGAINST EACH OTHER’
Rubio, Trump Question Obama’s Mosque Visit
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama’s decision to visit a mosque in Baltimore today was never going to be completely uncontroversial. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio proved it. “Maybe he feels comfortable there,” Trump told interviewer Greta van Susteren on Fox News. “There are a lot of places he can go, and he chose a mosque.” And in New Hampshire, Rubio said of Obama, “Always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today – he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims.”

Source:
THE TIME IS NOW, TED
Cruz Must Max Out on Evangelical Support through Early March
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

For Ted Cruz, a strong showing in New Hampshire would be nice, but not necessary. That’s because evangelical voters only make up 21% of the Granite State’s population. “But from the February 20 South Carolina primary through March 15, there are nine states (South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina) with an estimated white-Evangelical percentage of the GOP electorate over 60 percent, and another four (Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and Missouri) that come in over 50 percent.” But after that, he better be in the catbird’s seat, because only four smaller states remain with evangelical voter majorities.

Source:
CHRISTIE, BUSH TRYING TO TAKE HIM DOWN
Rubio Now Winning the ‘Endorsement Primary’
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Since his strong third-place finish in Iowa, Marco Rubio has won endorsement by two sitting senators and two congressmen, putting him in the lead for the first time of FiveThirtyEight‘s Endorsement Tracker. “Some politicians had put early support behind Jeb Bush — he had led [their] list since August — but since January the only new endorsement he has received was from former presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that fueled by resentment, “members of the Bush and Christie campaigns have communicated about their mutual desire to halt … Rubio’s rise in the polls.”

Source:
ARE YOU THE GATEKEEPER?
Sanders: Obama Is a Progressive
1 days ago
THE LATEST

“Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do,” said Bernie Sanders, in response to a direct question in tonight’s debate. “I think they’ve done a great job.” But Hillary Clinton wasn’t content to sit out the latest chapter in the great debate over the definition of progressivism. “In your definition, with you being the gatekeeper of progressivism, I don’t think anyone else fits that definition,” she told Sanders.

×