French Police Dismantles Network Sending Fighters to Syria, Iraq
French police launched raids across the country early on Monday, dismantling a network sending terrorist fighters to Syria, a police source told AFP.
Anti-terror police units descended on around a dozen targets, mostly in the southern region of Toulouse, but also around Paris and in the northern region of Normandy, the source said on condition of anonymity.
It was not immediately clear how many people were arrested.
In recent months France has been facing the fact that hundreds of its citizens have openly joined terrorists groups in Iraq and Syria and have even called for attacks on their homeland.
The new reality was driven home in a video from the ISIS group released in mid-November, showing three Kalashnikov-wielding Frenchmen burning their passports and calling on Muslims to join them or stage attacks in France.
A grisly execution video released around the same time featured at least one French citizen who hailed from a small village in Normandy and converted to Islam in his teens.
Almost 1,000 French nationals from a wide range of backgrounds are estimated to have left to join terrorists in Iraq and Syria, including some 400 thought to be currently fighting on the ground and almost 50 who were killed.