France Detains Six Suspects in Push Against Syria Extremists

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
May 14, 2014, 10:12 a.m.

French au­thor­it­ies de­tained six in­di­vidu­als be­lieved to have joined an Is­lam­ist group and par­ti­cip­ated in com­bat in Syr­ia, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

The al­leged ex­trem­ists went in­to cus­tody on Tues­day, in an early-morn­ing raid that came less than a month after Par­is un­veiled plans to stem the flow of French na­tion­als in­to Syr­ia. Of­fi­cials in France, the United King­dom and the United States have aired con­cerns that for­eign fight­ers in the vi­ol­ence-torn state could re­ceive train­ing and in­spir­a­tion to carry out at­tacks after they de­part.

French In­teri­or Min­is­ter Bern­ard Cazen­euve said Tues­day’s raid in the north­east­ern city of Stras­bourg “went down per­fectly,” and demon­strated “the total de­term­in­a­tion of the gov­ern­ment to fight with all its power against ter­ror­ism and the en­list­ing of youths in vi­ol­ent rad­ic­al­iz­a­tion.”

“I’m of­ten asked what hap­pens to people who leave to wage ji­had in Syr­ia when they re­turn to France,” Cazen­euve said. “It’s simple: They’re con­nec­ted with a ter­ror­ist en­ter­prise, ar­res­ted and handed over to justice.”

A judge has re­ceived in­vest­ig­at­ive re­spons­ib­il­ity for the six sus­pects, he ad­ded, without elab­or­at­ing. The in­di­vidu­als re­mained in de­ten­tion.

Cazen­euve did not com­ment on a news re­port ty­ing Tues­day’s law-en­force­ment ac­tion to a probe of 14 youths sus­pec­ted of trav­el­ing to Syr­ia after telling their fam­il­ies they were leav­ing in Decem­ber for hol­i­day travel. The im­plic­ated men were said to have traveled through Tur­key to reach the war-di­vided Middle East­ern na­tion.

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