An entire French family has packed up and left for Syria, where they are likely to take part in the fighting on the side of the Sunni Islamist opposition forces.
A legal source told AFP Wednesday that the family in question left for Syria sometime at the end of September.
The 11-strong family reportedly consists of a man, his two sisters, and their mother. Additionally, the spouses of the aforementioned individuals, including their children, are on their way to the jihad in Syria. Even a baby is said to be within the mix.
France’s Nice-Matin newspaper interviewed a 27-year-old woman by the name of Andrea, who said she left for Syria with her four and six-year-old sons.
Andrea reportedly told her parents of her journey: “All his well. I am in a superb region.” She then revealed to a friend that her religion was the chief motivation for the journey. “I was not going to go, but before Allah I could not stand back,” declared Andrea.
Andrea’s father told Nice-Matin that she is a convert to Islam. “I saw how religion played a bigger and bigger part in her life,” he said, while regrettably stating that “Perhaps I should have reacted” to intervene.
The father of Andrea’s husband, who is a Muslim, confirmed with the paper that his wife, two daughters, and four grandkids had left for Syria. “I knew religion held an important place for them, but only up to a point. My whole family has disappeared, and I’m scared,” he said.
The Paris prosecutor’s office told AFP that there is a “stack of evidence” suggesting that the reports of the family leaving for Syria are true.
A poll released in August found that one in six French citizens were shockingly in support of the Islamic State terror group. Among respondents aged 18-24, popularity for the Islamic State surged to 27 percent. France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, with over five million citizens who observe the Islamic faith.