120 children of French jihadists detained in Syria – media At least 120 minors, children of French nationals who joined terrorist groups, have reportedly been detained in Syria, with Paris planning to review their fate on a case-by-case basis.
The children are held in Kurdish camps in Syria, TV channel France 3 on Thursday. According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll, the minors “have not yet made any demands”.
The authorities will “have to look at their case with the best interests of [these children],” she told the channel.
Paris will reportedly decide the fate of each child case by case. Teens who took part in the fighting alongside terrorists will not be repatriated. Data from the channel says that, all in all, some 400 French nationals are fighting in Syria.
In January, French jihadi wives, captured by Kurds in Syria, filed a legal complaint against Paris for not letting them be tried at home, saying they the case be covered in “a real country.” Their lawyers argued that French authorities are “exposing these mothers and children to obvious risks — notably in terms of their health, in a warzone.”
Their complaint followed a tough statement issued by French authorities, insisting that there was no reason to bring those detained by Kurds back to France. Paris “can support [them] in France if they come back. [But] we won’t go looking for them,” Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet BFMTV and RMC radio back in January this year.
Weighing in on the extremists issue, the French Justice Minister announced earlier this year that about 450 radicalized detainees, including 50 Islamic terrorists, will walk free by the end of 2019.
France has witnessed an almost unprecedented wave of jihadist attacks in early 2015 that left over 200 people dead and hundreds injured. The biggest loss of life took place in November of 2015, when at least 130 people were killed in coordinated assaults in and around Paris.
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