Almost 1,500 French men and women have left France for jihadist-controlled zones in Syria and Iraq, where they represent almost half of all European jihadists, according to a Senate report made public on Wednesday. The study mentions that this figure of 1,500 shows an increase of 84% compared to January 2014 figures. While introducing the report “on jihadist networks in France and in Europe”, Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur highlighted that of the approximately 3,000 known European jihadists in areas controlled by IE – pointing out that we are far from sure of the exact figure at this stage – almost half (47%) are French.
“DGSI (French intelligence agency) operators are currently tracing the movements of over 3,000 people suspected of involvement with the Syria branch, a 24% increase compared to November 2014,” added the senator.
The report specifies that of the 1,432 French citizens involved in this branch, 413 are effectively in combat zones, including 119 women. Furthermore, 261 left the jihadist-controlled zone, 200 of whom came back to France, and 85 were allegedly killed there, while 2 are being held in a Syrian jail. According to the senator, 152 radical Islamists are currently in French jails, accused of “criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise,” including only 22 who had been incarcerated before.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)