French family of 11 suspected of waging ‘jihad’ in Syria
The family is believed to comprise of a grandmother, her three children, their spouses, all of whom converted to Islam, and their children
French officials say they suspect an entire family – 11 people including a grandmother - of departing to wage jihad in Syria, the Associated Press reported.
Paris anti-terrorism prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation Wednesday following the family's disappearance from their homes in Nice, on the French Riviera, the agency said.
According to Europe 1, a leading French radio broadcaster, the family is believed to comprise of a grandmother, her three children, their spouses, all of whom converted to Islam, and their children, the youngest of whom was 6-months old.
The radio station said the family is thought to have left to Syria through Turkey.
France estimates that nearly 1,000 of its residents have left to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq this year and the Interior Ministry estimates that 350 are still there, with the others either on their way, leaving the battlefields or killed.
France was the first country to join U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and has increased its monitoring of French people suspected of joining the militant group.
The French parliament is debating a bill to provide new tools to fight terrorism, including taking away passports of suspected would-be extremist militant fighters.