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France arrests four suspected of Syria jihadist recruitment

Photo: AFP
2 min

France has arrested four people over connections to a jihadist network involved in recruiting fighters to take up arms in Syria’s civil war, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday.

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Speaking to Europe 1 radio, Cazeneuve said the new arrests took place Monday morning in the Paris region and the south of France.

“We will not give terrorists a chance,” he added.

It follows the arrest Friday of a Frenchman suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, last month.

Paris public prosecutor François Molins said on Sunday that the man, 29-year-old Mehdi Nemmouche, had spent more than a year in Syria “where he seems to have joined the ranks of combatant groups, jihadist terrorist groups”.

The French interior ministry estimated in April that nearly 700 French citizens or residents have made their way to Syria since the conflict began.

Fears that homegrown extremists could come home from Syria with plans to carry out attacks in France prompted the government to recently introduce new measures to try to stop disaffected youths from becoming radicalized.

They included a "hotline" that friends and family of would-be jihadists seeking to travel to Syria can call to provide authorities with information.

Last month, French police arrested six people as part of an operation targeting France-based jihadists suspected of travelling to fight in Syria's civil war.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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