Manual Valls, France’s interior minister and “star of its Socialist government,” as described by Spiegel, discussed a growing trend of teenagers from France leaving home to join the Jihadi forces in Syria.
“The phenomenon has accelerated in recent weeks, since the end of 2013,” he told iTele TV as reported by ABC News today. One story in particular was of a father who called authorities after his 15-year-old went missing.
“The young man had simply failed to return from school one day, according to an interview with the father published in newspaper Le Parisien this weekend.”
The article continued,
“The minister said about 250 French citizens or legal residents are fighting in Syria, 150 have shown they want to and 99 are in transit. He said 21 have died on the Syrian battlefield. Valls noted that such exact figures come with a margin of error that may not include French who have taken up jihad in Syria but slipped through the cracks of intelligence services.”
While the interior minister “suggested the young men were converted to the jihadi cause on the Internet,” last year Sharona Schwartz of theBlaze reported that a convert to Islam was part of a propaganda video that “urges other Frenchmen to follow his example and embrace Islam, including the President of France Francois Hollande.”
Additionally, an article from the Wall Street Journal in 2012 discusses a “suspected jihadist recruitment network” in France, which houses the largest population of Muslims in Europe. Paris Prosecutor François Molins cited Syria as a “potential destination for French jihadists” at the time.
Perhaps François Molins and Manual Valls should have a discussion.