PARIS (AP) — France’s interior minister says the number of French radicals joining extremists in Syria and Iraq has soared this year, saying that justifies a tough new anti-terrorist law adopted this month.
Bernard Cazeneuve said on RTL radio Tuesday that the number of French radicals in the region has grown 74 percent this year, to about 1,000 people. That figure includes those who traveled there or back and 200 people who hope to go.
Cazeneuve said authorities are monitoring a French member of the Islamic State group identified by the U.S. State Department last week as one of 10 “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” targeted by new sanctions.
France was the first country to join U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State extremists and has increased its monitoring of French people suspected of joining them.