France Moves to Stop Flow of Fighters Into Syria

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
3 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
5 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login