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France deports Algerian suspected of recruiting Syria jihadis

media Islamist fighters in Jobar, Damascus last year Reuters/ Mohamed Abdullah

France has deported an Algerian suspected of recruiting fighters for Islamist armed groups in Syria, the first case of a foreigner being thrown out of the country under the government’s new anti-jihadi campaign.

The 37-year-old Algerian citizen, who lived in Albertville in the eastern French region of Savoy, was deported to France by Turkish police on Wednesday evening and sent to Algeria on Thursday morning.

The Turks picked him in mid-March on a coach full of would-be jihadis heading for the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Turkey is the usual route by which people wishing to fight President Bashar al-Assad’s regime enter Syria.

Five other men from Albertville were also detained and sent back to France.

The man, who arrived in France with his parents at the age of two, was already known to French intelligence and knew two men who sentenced for two years in jail in 2011 for sending fighters to Afghanistan.

The six men arrested by the Turkish police intended to join the most radical group fighting in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

The expulsion came as France introduced new measures, including a hotline, to tackle recruitment for armed Islamist groups abroad.

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