Report: Nearly Half of European Jihadists in ISIS-Held Zones in Iraq, Syria Are French Nationals

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf petro-powerhouses encouraged a flow of cash to Sunni rebels in Syria for years. But …
AP Photo/Militant Website, File

Over 1,430 French nationals have traveled to join jihadist groups in territory held by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, representing 47 percent of the European militants there, a report by the French Parliament revealed.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the figure only covers French militants who are known and accounted for, Jean-Pierre Sueur, a member of the country’s Parliament, told reporters.

Sen. Sueur spearheaded the parliamentary probe into jihadist networks.

France’s intelligence services are monitoring more than 3,000 people suspected of being involved in Syrian militant networks, according to the lawmaker.

The parliamentary report revealed that 85 French nationals are believed to have died in ISIS-held territory.

French authorities are concerned about the estimated 200 who have returned to France.

A United Nations report recently revealed that a record number of foreign fighters have traveled to join ISIS and al-Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, and other countries, exceeding 25,000 from over 100 countries.

Most of those fighters traveled to Iraq and Syria. Nearly 22,000 foreigners linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda are fighting in Iraq and Syria alone.

The U.N. report noted that a “high number” of the foreign fighters are from Tunisia, Morocco, France, and Russia.

The French senator pointed out that France currently holds 152 Islamist radicals in prison, prompting fears about radicalization behind bars. French authorities have reportedly taken measures to fight that threat.

Follow Edwin Mora on Twitter: @EdwinMora83


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