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French jihad recruiter in court after Turkish arrest

media Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve ©Reuters.

A man suspected of recruiting French youths to fight in Syria has been handed over to French authorities, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced on Thursday.

29 year old Franco-Moroccan Mourad Fares was to appear in a French court on Thursday afternoon, after having been picked up in Turkey on 16th August and arrested on arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris on Wednesday evening.

Cazeneuve said Fares was suspected of having played a role which was « decisive in the recruitment of young French people” to Syria.

In a statement, the interior minister talked of “a particularly dangerous individual, close to jihadist terrorist movements,” such as Islamic State and Jabhat Al-Nosra.

Fares is from Thonon-les-Bains in the Alps and left for Syria in July 2013. He is suspected of involvement in persuading youngsters from Toulouse and Strasbourg to become jihadists.

On 24th July, a Paris investigating magistrate issued an international warrant for his arrest on suspicion of links to terrorist activities.

350 French citizens were estimated to be fighting in Iraq or Syria in mid-August, according to French MP Sébastien Pietrasanta, who has researched the situation.

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