French Journalist Infiltrates Jihadist Cell For Six Months

A French journalist infiltrated a cell of would-be jihadists, filming them with a hidden camera as they plotted an attack in the name of the Islamic State group, before they were arrested, he told AFP.

The journalist, a Muslim using the pseudonym Said Ramzi, carried out the investigation for a documentary entitled “Allah’s Soldiers” which gives an insight into the minds of young jihadists, and will be shown in France on Monday night.

Ramzi describes himself as a Muslim “of the same generation as the killers” who carried out the November 13 terror attacks which left 130 people dead in Paris.

“My goal was to understand what was going on inside their heads,” he told AFP.

“One of the main lessons was that I never saw any Islam in this affair. No will to improve the world. Only lost, frustrated, suicidal, easily manipulated youths.

“They had the misfortune of being born in the era that the Islamic State exists. It is very sad. They are youngsters who are looking for something and that is what they found.”

To make contact with the group, Ramzi said the first steps were easy, following and interacting with those preaching jihad on Facebook.

Then, he had to meet the person presented as the “emir” of the group of about a dozen youths, some of them born into Muslim families, and the others converts.

This took place in Chateauroux, a town in the centre-west of France, at an outdoor activities centre that was deserted in winter.

– ‘Women waiting in paradise’-

The “emir” was a young French-Turkish citizen named Oussama, and on their first meeting he tries to convince the journalist he knows as Abu Hamza, that paradise awaits him if he carries out a suicide mission.


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