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The International Airport of Nice.
AFP PHOTO/Valéry Hache
A man suspected of recruiting French citizens for jihad in Syria has been arrested at the airport of Nice in the South of France. He had allegedly paid cash for the airplane ticket of a 16-year-old girl on her way to Turkey, with plans to travel to Syria.
The 22-year-old man who is of Chechen origin was taken into custody at the Nice airport on Saturday evening, according to a statement released by the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Sunday.
The girl, who was accompanied by a veiled woman at the Nice airport on Saturday, said she was going to visit her grandmother in Istanbul, but Turkish Airlines were unconvinced and alerted Internal Security to the situation.
Investigators contacted the father of the girl and he confirmed that his daughter has no family in Turkey.
The man who had allegedly paid cash for the girl’s air ticket and who was taken into custody, was already known to French authorities.
He is suspected of being a recruiter for jihad fighters in Syria. The investigation is ongoing.